Request for Comments Concerning Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) Which May Be a Barrier to the Safe Testing and Deployment of Automated Driving Systems-Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicles on Public Roads
FMCSA requests public comments on existing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that may need to be updated, modified, or eliminated to facilitate the safe introduction of automated driving systems (ADS) equipped commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) onto our Nation's roadways. To assist in this undertaking, FMCSA commissioned the U.S. Department of Transportation's John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) to conduct a preliminary review of the FMCSRs to identify regulations that may relate to the development and safe introduction of ADS. The Agency requests comments on this report, including whether any of FMCSA's current safety regulations may hinder the testing and safe integration of ADS-equipped CMVs. Further, FMCSA requests comment on certain specific regulatory requirements that are likely to be affected by an increased integration of ADS-equipped CMVs. However, the Agency is not seeking comments on its financial responsibility requirements because they are not directly related to CMV technologies and because future insurance requirements will depend in part on the evolution of State tort law with respect to liability for the operation of ADS-equipped vehicles. In addition, to support FMCSA's effort to understand future impacts on the FMCSR's, FMCSA requests information, including from companies engaged in the design, development, testing, and integration of ADS-equipped CMVs into the fleet. Specifically, the Agency requests information about: The scenarios and environments where entities expect that ADS will soon be tested and integrated into CMVs operating on public roads or in interstate commerce; the operational design domains (ODD) in which these systems are being operated or would be tested and eventually deployed; and, measures they believe are required to ensure the protection of any proprietary or confidential business information they intend to share with the Agency.
Hours of Service; Electronic Logging Devices; Limited 90-Day Waiver for the Transportation of Agricultural Commodities
FMCSA grants a limited 90-day waiver from the Federal hours- of-service (HOS) regulations pertaining to electronic logging devices (ELDs) for the transportation of agricultural commodities as defined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The Agency has determined that the waiver is in the public interest and will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption, based on the terms and conditions imposed. The waiver provides the Agency additional time to complete its analysis of the public responses to its December 20, 2017, notice of proposed regulatory guidance to clarify the applicability of the ``Agricultural commodity'' exception to the hours- of-service regulations and issue final guidance which in turn, would have an impact on which drivers transporting agricultural commodities are required to use ELDs, and the public responses to its October 31, 2017, document announcing receipt of the NPPC's application for an exemption from the ELD requirements and to issue a decision whether to grant NPPC's request for longer-term relief from the ELD rule. The Agency has determined through its preliminary analysis of the public comments submitted to the public dockets that the issues raised by transporters of agricultural commodities are more complex than those raised by other segments of the industry seeking relief from the ELD requirements and that it is appropriate to take additional time to bring these matters to closure.
Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Traditional Trucking Corporation
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requests public comment on an application for exemption from Traditional Trucking Corporation (TTC) to allow a Global Positioning System (GPS) device to be mounted on the interior of the windshield of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) within the areas allowed for ``vehicle safety technology'' devices. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) require devices using ``vehicle safety technology'' to be mounted (A) not more than 4 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, or (B) not more than 7 inches above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, and (C) outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. GPS is not considered a ``vehicle safety technology'' under the definition in the regulation, and as such, GPS devices are not permitted to be mounted on the interior of the windshield and within the area swept by the windshield wipers. TTC believes that the exemption will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption because the GPS device is approximately the same size as vehicle safety technology devices, and the current mounting location is much lower in the vehicle which causes the driver to look away from the road to view the GPS device.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders
FMCSA announces its decision to exempt four individuals from the requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have ``no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.'' The exemptions enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti- seizure medication to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing
FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 46 individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders
FMCSA announces receipt of applications from seven individuals for an exemption from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against persons with a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to drive in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Renewal of an Approved Information Collection: Motor Carrier Records Change Form
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The purpose of this ICR titled ``Motor Carrier Records Change Form,'' is to more efficiently collect information the Office of Registration and Safety Information (MC-RS) requires to process name and address changes and reinstatements of operating authority.
Hours of Service of Drivers: Electronic Logging Devices; Application for Exemption; Truck Renting and Leasing Association, Inc.
FMCSA announces that the Truck Renting and Leasing Association Inc. (TRALA) has requested an exemption until December 31, 2018, from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirements for all drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles rented for 30 days or fewer. A waiver for the same purpose and group of drivers was issued to TRALA on January 19, 2018, and expires on April 19, 2018. TRALA states that the waiver period, which is limited to 90 days, is not sufficient to address the ELD problems that they and their short-term lessors are encountering. This request, if granted, would provide rental-vehicle owners, carriers, and drivers with additional time to develop compliance strategies for dealing with the unique issues relating to the use of ELDs in short-term rental vehicles. TRALA believes that the exemption, if granted, would not have any adverse impacts on operational safety, as drivers would continue to remain subject to the hours-of-service regulations as well as the requirements to maintain a paper record of duty status. FMCSA requests public comment on TRALA's application for exemption.