Removing Regulatory Barriers for Vehicles With Automated Driving Systems

Cited as:84 FR 24433
Court:National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Publication Date:28 May 2019
Record Number:2019-11032
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 102 (Tuesday, May 28, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 102 (Tuesday, May 28, 2019)]
                [Proposed Rules]
                [Pages 24433-24449]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
                [FR Doc No: 2019-11032]
                National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
                49 CFR Part 571
                [Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0036]
                RIN 2127-AM00
                Removing Regulatory Barriers for Vehicles With Automated Driving
                AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
                Department of Transportation (DOT).
                ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM).
                SUMMARY: NHTSA is seeking public comment on the near- and long-term
                challenges of testing and verifying compliance with existing crash
                avoidance (100-series) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs)
                for Automated Driving System-Dedicated Vehicles (ADS-DVs) that lack
                traditional manual controls necessary for a human driver to maneuver
                the vehicle and other features intended to facilitate operation of a
                vehicle by a human driver, but that are otherwise traditional vehicles
                with typical seating configurations. This document seeks comments on
                the suitability of various approaches that could be used to address
                compliance verification challenges that exist for crash avoidance
                standards that either require a manual control; or specify the use of
                manual controls in a compliance test procedure. NHTSA's long-term goal
                is to use what the agency learns from this ANPRM, as well as the
                agency's other research efforts, to develop a proposal to amend the
                crash avoidance FMVSSs in ways that address these and other compliance
                challenges with a continued focus on safety. This ANPRM builds on
                NHTSA's efforts to identify and address regulatory barriers to ADS
                technologies, including the request for comments (RFC) on this topic in
                January 2018. NHTSA intends to issue two additional documents to remove
                barriers in the crashworthiness FMVSSs (200-series standards) and
                address issues in the FMVSSs pertaining to telltales, indicators, and
                warnings in ADS-DVs.
                [[Page 24434]]
                DATES: Comments on this advanced notice of proposed rulemaking are due
                no later than July 29, 2019.
                ADDRESSES: Comments must be identified by Docket Number NHTSA-2019-0036
                and may be submitted using any of the following methods:
                 Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow
                the online instructions for submitting comments.
                 Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of
                Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC
                 Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor,
                Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m.
                and 5 p.m. E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
                 Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
                 Regardless of how you submit your comments, you must include the
                docket number identified in the heading of this document. Note that all
                comments received, including any personal information provided, will be
                posted without change to Please see the ``Privacy
                Act'' heading below.
                 You may call the Docket Management Facility at 202-366-9826.
                 Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
                comments received, go to or the street address
                listed above. We will continue to file relevant information in the
                Docket as it becomes available.
                 Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits
                comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT
                posts these comments, without edit, to, as
                described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL-14 FDMS, accessible
                through To facilitate comment tracking
                and response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the
                name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely
                optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely
                comments will be fully considered.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues: David Hines,
                Director, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards (Phone: 202-366-1810;
                Fax: 202-493-0073). For legal issues: Sara R. Bennett, Attorney-
                Advisor, Vehicle Rulemaking and Harmonization, Office of Chief Counsel
                (Phone: 202-366-2992; Fax: 202-366-3820).
                Table of Contents
                I. Executive Summary
                I. Introduction
                II. Background
                III. NHTSA's Efforts To Provide Guidance and Regulatory Certainty
                IV. Stakeholder Feedback
                V. Addressing Barriers in the FMVSS
                 A. Example #1 (FMVSS No. 135): Manual Control Required
                 B. Example #2 (FMVSS No. 126): Existing Test Procedures That
                Cannot Be Executed Absent Manual Controls
                 C. Additional Barrier Examples
                VI. Possible Approaches To Revising Crash Avoidance Test Procedures
                 A. Normal ADS-DV Operation
                 B. Test Mode With Pre-Programmed Execution (TMPE)
                 C. Test Mode With External Control (TMEC)
                 D. Simulation
                 E. Technical Documentation for System Design and/or Performance
                 F. Use of Surrogate Vehicle With Human Controls
                VII. Public Participation
                VIII. Rulemaking Analyses
                I. Executive Summary
                 This Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is a
                continuation of NHTSA's efforts to gather input from stakeholders and
                the public regarding what approaches to propose to address potential
                challenges to the verification of the compliance with the Federal Motor
                Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) of Automated Driving System-Dedicated
                Vehicles (ADS-DVs) \1\ that lack traditional manual controls, but have
                traditional seating configurations. In this document, the agency first
                discusses the types of barriers posed by the existing crash avoidance
                standards and, second, what types of test methods could be employed to
                test vehicles that lack traditional controls. NHTSA believes that
                safety should be the preeminent consideration when evaluating whether
                and how the test methods discussed in this document could be used to
                address regulatory barriers to ADS-DVs. NHTSA notes that the focus of
                this document is ADS-DVs, and that the agency is not at this time
                considering changing the applicability of current requirements to
                traditional vehicles.
                 \1\ An ADS is the hardware and software that are collectively
                capable of performing the entire dynamic driving task (DDT) on a
                sustained basis, regardless of whether it is limited to a specific
                operational design domain. The term ``ADS'' specifically refers to
                SAE Level 3, 4, or 5 driving automation systems as described in SAE
                J3016_201806 Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving
                Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles. However, the focus of
                this document is on ADS-DVs that lack traditional manual controls,
                but have traditional seating configurations. ADS-DVs which are
                defined as vehicles designed to be operated exclusively by a level 4
                or level 5 ADS for all trips within its given ODD limitations (if
                any). Id. For the purposes of this ANPRM, manual controls include
                traditional driving input mechanisms, such as the steering wheel,
                accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and transmission gear selector
                controls. We refer to these vehicles in the balance of the document
                as ``ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls.''
                 Comments are requested on these approaches and specifically on
                their feasibility and permissibility as additions to relevant crash
                avoidance FMVSSs.
                 To address barriers posed by the rest of the FMVSSs, NHTSA intends
                to issue two additional documents, one for the crashworthiness FMVSSs
                (200-series standards) and another for telltales, indicators, and
                I. Introduction
                 The development of ADSs brings the possibility of associated
                reductions in the number of motor vehicle crashes, deaths, injuries,
                and associated economic costs. This document is one of three documents
                \2\ NHTSA is issuing to begin the development and implementation of a
                comprehensive strategy to update the FMVSSs to maintain the required
                performance levels of existing standards for ADS-DVs without
                traditional manual controls while addressing regulatory barriers to the
                compliance verification of these vehicles. This ANPRM is intended to
                solicit focused feedback on the feasibility and permissibility of a
                number of approaches to addressing the challenges in certifying or
                verifying compliance to certain crash avoidance (100-series) for ADS-
                DVs without manual controls.\3\
                 \2\ See The
                Regulatory Identification Numbers for the two other documents are
                RIN 2127-AM06, RIN 2127-AM07.
                 \3\ This document, therefore, does not address the regulation of
                ADS equipment or its performance, but rather focuses on determining
                and specifying in the FMVSS the processes that the agency will use
                in conducting compliance verification for vehicles without manual
                controls. This document is also not intended to address regulatory
                challenges relating to information or visibility requirements in the
                FMVSS (e.g., telltales, indicator lamps), the occupant protection
                requirements in the ``crashworthiness'' (200-series) FMVSS, dual-
                mode vehicles (i.e., that can be either driven using manual controls
                or by the ADS), bi-directional vehicles, or vehicles with non-
                traditional seating configurations (e.g., ``campfire'' seating
                arrangement). NHTSA intends to address these and other related
                topics in research and future documents.
                 While some ADS-DVs are equipped with manual controls, and thus
                NHTSA can conduct compliance verification testing of those vehicles
                using current test procedures, this is not the case with all ADS-DVs.
                Specifically, this ANPRM focuses on ADS-DVs without traditional manual
                controls and that may also lack other features intended to facilitate
                [[Page 24435]]
                operation of a vehicle by a human driver. NHTSA believes that
                modifications of the existing regulatory text, including definitions
                and test methods used to perform some existing 100-series FMVSS
                compliance tests, may be necessary for the agency to assess the
                vehicles' compliance with certain existing FMVSS. The agency intends to
                explore modifications to the standards with a continued focus on
                 NHTSA notes that some equipment required under the current FMVSSs
                provide safety benefits beyond what the agency had originally
                contemplated at the time each FMVSS was promulgated. For instance,
                while the agency may have established rear visibility mirror
                performance requirements based on the safety need for a driver's
                visibility while driving, outside rearview mirrors have come to serve
                an additional safety function when a vehicle is parked by providing
                occupants information regarding whether it is safe to exit the vehicle.
                Such additional safety benefits must be considered in evaluating their
                continued necessity on an ADS-DV without traditional manual controls.
                 In this document, NHTSA discusses two potential types of regulatory
                barriers for ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls, describes a
                FMVSS that exemplifies each challenge, and presents a brief overview of
                comments on the request for comment (RFC). The agency also presents and
                seeks comment regarding the safety impacts of using alternative
                compliance test verification methods to conduct compliance verification
                testing for these types of vehicles, assuming that the standards and
                procedures could be revisited to appropriately ensure the existing
                standard of performance without requiring, directly or indirectly,
                manual controls. NHTSA has initiated work in these areas, including an
                internal evaluation of regulatory requirements as well as an ongoing
                research project with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
                (VTTI). The agency anticipates significant overlap between the
                standards identified and discussed in this ANPRM and the provisions and
                requirements identified by VTTI through its research activity and
                analysis. The comments received in response to this document will
                supplement the research to ensure that NHTSA is considering all
                stakeholders' perspectives when developing proposals to modify the
                existing FMVSSs.
                II. Background
                 NHTSA's primary exercise of its regulatory authority under the
                National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended (``Safety
                Act''), involves the development, establishment, and enforcement of the
                FMVSSs.\4\ FMVSSs, including the tests they specify, must be:
                Practicable, both technologically and economically; objective, meaning
                that they must produce identical results when tests are conducted in
                identical conditions and determinations of compliance must be based on
                scientific measurements, not subjective opinion; and meet the need for
                safety.\5\ In addition, in issuing a FMVSS, the agency must consider
                whether the standard is reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for
                the types of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for which it is
                prescribed.\6\ NHTSA possesses broad general rulemaking authority to
                issue regulations to assist in implementing the Safety Act.\7\
                 \4\ 49 U.S.C. 30111.
                 \5\ 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(9), 30111(a).
                 \6\ 49 U.S.C. 30111(b)(3).
                 \7\ The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as
                amended (Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 730) contained a section that
                authorized the Secretary to issue, amend, and revoke rules and
                regulations that the Secretary deemed necessary to carry out the
                subchapter (i.e., ``general rulemaking authority''). See S. Rep. No.
                91-559, at 3136, 3141 (1969) That section was repealed as surplus
                during codification. See 15 U.S.C.A. Sec. 1406. 49 U.S.C. 322(a)
                separately provides the Secretary with such authority. The Secretary
                has, in turn, delegated that authority to all modal Administrators.
                49 CFR 1.81 (a)(3).
                 Manufacturers must certify that their motor vehicles comply with
                all applicable standards before the vehicles can be sold, offered for
                sale, introduced or delivered for introduction in interstate commerce,
                or imported into the United States.\8\ Generally speaking,
                certification to a standard means that the manufacturer, in exercising
                reasonable care, certifies that the vehicle meets the requirements of
                that standard, and that if the vehicle were to be tested according to
                the test procedures contained in the FMVSSs, the vehicle would meet or
                exceed the level of performance specified in the standard. That is,
                while NHTSA verifies that vehicles are compliant with the FMVSSs by
                conducting compliance tests as they are set forth in the FMVSSs and
                NHTSA's corresponding compliance test procedures, manufacturers are not
                required to follow the compliance test procedures, and, instead, simply
                may not certify a vehicle as compliant, if ``in exercising reasonable
                care, the [manufacturer] has reason to know the certificate is false or
                misleading in material respect.'' \9\ Absent an exemption or exception,
                ADS-DVs must comply with all applicable FMVSSs.\10\
                 \8\ 49 U.S.C. 30115(a).
                 \9\ Id.
                 \10\ 49 U.S.C. 30112.
                 As the federal agency charged with reducing crashes and deaths and
                injuries resulting from crashes on the nation's roadways,\11\ NHTSA is
                encouraged by the potential for safety improvements through new ADS
                technologies being developed by automobile manufacturers and other
                innovators. NHTSA anticipates that ADS-DVs can serve a vital safety
                role on the Nation's roads, particularly since human error and choice
                are critical factors behind the occurrence of a large number of
                 \11\ 49 U.S.C. 30101.
                 \12\ See Critical Reasons for Crashes Investigated in the
                National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (February 2015),
                available at
                 However, for ADS technologies to develop fully, technological and
                regulatory barriers must be overcome. NHTSA wants to take this
                opportunity to reaffirm that, despite the use of the term ``regulatory
                barrier'' in this and other future documents, the existing FMVSSs
                neither have any provisions addressing the self-driving capability of
                an ADS nor prohibit inclusion of ADS components on a vehicle. Likewise,
                nothing in those standards poses testing or certification challenges
                for vehicles with ADSs so long as the vehicles have means of manual
                control and conventional seating, and otherwise meet the performance
                requirements of the FMVSSs. Thus, it is a manufacturer's design of a
                motor vehicle without manual driving controls, design of a motor
                vehicle with novel seating configurations or orientations, or a covered
                party's disabling of any part of a device or element of design of a
                motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment that is currently in
                compliance with applicable FMVSSs, that could complicate the compliance
                of the vehicle to the existing FMVSSs \13\--not solely the inclusion of
                [[Page 24436]]
                the hardware and software that make up an ADS. For ADS-DVs not designed
                to ever be driven by a human, requiring installation of traditional
                manual controls results in unnecessary design restrictions and
                regulatory expense.
                 \13\ A covered party is defined as a manufacturer, distributor,
                dealer, rental company, or motor vehicle repair business. 49 U.S.C.
                30122. Covered parties are prohibited from knowingly making
                inoperative any part of a device or element of design installed in a
                new or used motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in compliance
                with an applicable FMVSS. Id. The make inoperative prohibition
                contains an exception that applies when the covered party
                ``reasonably believes'' the vehicle or equipment with the
                inoperative device or element will only be used ``for testing or a
                similar purpose during maintenance and repair.'' Id. NHTSA has
                additional exemption authority with regard to the ``make
                inoperative'' prohibition and may prescribe regulations to exempt a
                person or a class of persons from this prohibition if the Agency
                decides the exemption is consistent with motor vehicle safety and
                the purposes of the Act. 49 U.S.C. 30122(c). NHTSA has issued
                regulatory exemptions to the make inoperative prohibition for the
                installation of airbag on/off switches and other modifications to
                accommodate people with disabilities. 49 CFR part 595.
                III. NHTSA's Efforts To Provide Guidance and Regulatory Certainty
                 This ANPRM builds on NHTSA's efforts in recent years to identify
                and address regulatory barriers to ADS technologies. NHTSA has already
                taken steps to address technological barriers through the publication
                of agency guidance to ensure the safe development and deployment of ADS
                technologies. In September 2017, the DOT released the guidance document
                Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety to provide guidance
                to the public, particularly industry stakeholders and the States. A
                Vision for Safety discussed 12 priority safety design elements for
                manufacturers and other innovators involved in ADS development,
                including vehicle cybersecurity, human machine interface,
                crashworthiness, consumer education and training, and post-crash ADS
                behavior. More recently, DOT released Preparing for the Future of
                Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0, a complementary document to the
                2017 guidance that introduces guiding principles that will support
                Departmental programs and policies and describes the DOT's multi-modal
                strategy to address existing barriers to safety innovation and
                progress. It also communicates DOT's agenda to the public and
                stakeholders on important policy issues and identifies opportunities
                for cross-modal collaboration. DOT's automation principles are: (1) We
                will prioritize safety; (2) We will remain technology neutral; (3) We
                will modernize regulations; (4) We will encourage a consistent
                regulatory and operational environment; (5) We will prepare proactively
                for automation; and (6) We will protect and enhance the freedoms
                enjoyed by Americans.
                 NHTSA has also conducted research activities to help inform its
                decision-making with regard to identifying and resolving regulatory
                barriers. NHTSA, in collaboration with the Volpe National
                Transportation Systems Center, conducted a preliminary report
                identifying barriers to the compliance testing and self-certification
                of ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls. In March 2016, that
                report was published (the ``Volpe Report'').\14\ The report focused on
                FMVSS requirements that present barriers to the compliance testing and
                self-certification of ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls
                because they refer to a human driver.\15\
                 \14\ Kim, Perlman, Bogard, and Harrington (2016, March) Review
                of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for Automated
                Vehicles, Preliminary Report. US DOT Volpe Center, Cambridge, MA.
                Available at:
                 \15\ The term `driver' is defined in Sec. 571.3 as follows:
                ``Driver means the occupant of the motor vehicle seated immediately
                behind the steering control system.''
                 Based on the Volpe Report findings, in 2017, NHTSA initiated work
                with VTTI to expand upon the work performed by Volpe by performing
                analysis and industry outreach to identify potential approaches for
                addressing compliance verification barriers.\16\ Through this contract
                with NHTSA, VTTI is going beyond the initial work in the Volpe Report
                and taking a broader look at possible modifications to the current
                FMVSS regulatory text and test procedures that would both maintain
                safety and ensure regulatory certainty for manufacturers of ADS-DVs
                without traditional manual controls. The VTTI project, as currently
                scoped, is separated into two phases. Phase I, which will include the
                technical translation of 30 FMVSSs and associated test procedures,
                concludes by the end of 2019. Phase II, which will focus on the
                remaining FMVSSs and associated test procedures, is expected to start
                in 2019 and conclude in mid-2021. These efforts are anticipated to
                inform NHTSA's decisions on updates to the FMVSSs.
                 \16\ Contract No. DTNH2214D00328L/DTNH2217F00177, ``Assessment,
                Evaluation, and Approaches to Modification of FMVSS that may Impact
                Compliance of Innovative New Vehicle Designs Associated with
                Automated Driving Systems.'' The task award document states ``[t]he
                overall goal of this Task Order is to provide NHTSA findings and
                results needed to make informed decisions regarding the modification
                of FMVSS in relation to the certification and compliance
                verification of innovative new vehicle designs precipitated by
                automated driving systems.''
                 In addition to these research efforts, NHTSA has also requested
                input from stakeholders through a January 2018 RFC to identify
                regulatory barriers in the FMVSS to the testing, compliance
                certification, and compliance verification of ADS-DVs without
                traditional manual controls.17 18 This ANPRM continues the
                discussion on topics covered in the January 2018 RFC. NHTSA also
                recently published an ANPRM requesting public input on a possible
                future national pilot program for the safe on-road testing and
                deployment of vehicles with high or full driving
                automation.19 20
                 \17\ See the table in Appendix A for explanations of these
                 \18\ 83 FR 2607 (Jan. 18, 2018).
                 \19\ 83 FR 50872 (Oct. 10, 2018).
                 \20\ Deployment in this context refers to the manufacturing for
                sale, selling, offering for sale, introducing or delivering for
                introduction in interstate commerce, or importing of vehicles in the
                 Finally, NHTSA has received and evaluated an interpretation request
                and petition for exemption that helped inform this document. The first
                was an interpretation request received from Google, to which the agency
                responded on February 4, 2016.\21\ The response covered a variety of
                Google's concerns relating to how it could certify a vehicle that does
                not include manual controls, such as a steering wheel, accelerator
                pedal, or brake pedal. The response also provided tables listing those
                standards that NHTSA could interpret Google's ADS as the ``driver'' or
                ``operator,'' and a table listing those standards that NHTSA could
                interpret the human occupant seated in the left front designated
                seating position as the ``driver.'' \22\ The agency interpreted the
                term ``driver'' as applying to the ADS. Even so, NHTSA's response
                highlighted that interpreting the driver to be the ADS ``does not end
                the inquiry or determine the result''--many of the interpretive
                requests would require rulemaking and/or exemption for resolution.\23\
                 \21\ Available at
                 \22\ Id.
                 \23\ Id.
                 The second request that helped inform this document is a petition
                for exemption from General Motors (GM), which the agency received on
                January 11, 2018.\24\ In that petition, GM categorized what they
                described as ``human-driver-based requirements'' into three categories:
                (1) Features designed to interface with a human driver, such as manual
                controls; (2) features designed to provide human drivers with
                information, such a telltales and indicator lamps; and (3) features to
                protect human occupants, such as air bags. GM's contention is that its
                ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls require only the third
                category of requirements. GM states that the ADS-DV provides the
                controls and information to the ADS, and that doing so meets the safety
                objectives of the FMVSS. Additionally, the GM petition states that
                their vehicle applies the occupant protection required for the
                [[Page 24437]]
                right front seating position to the left front seating position.
                 \24\ Information available at:
                 Based on these efforts, NHTSA has determined that most of the
                potential regulatory barriers to the certification of ADS-DVs without
                traditional manual controls in the 100-series FMVSSs fall into three
                categories: (1) The standard requires a manual control; (2) the
                standard specifies how the agency will use manual controls in the
                regulatory description of how it will test for compliance; or (3) the
                definition or use of particular terms (e.g., ``driver'') become so
                unclear that clarification is necessary before certification and
                compliance verification testing is possible.
                 To address these barriers, NHTSA considered stakeholder input and
                conducted an internal analysis of the translations of the regulatory
                text necessary to remove barriers, and has identified in the ANPRM a
                number of regulatory approaches for how to amend the FMVSSs to
                accommodate compliance verification of ADS-DVs without traditional
                manual controls. Using two primary crash avoidance standards as
                illustrative examples, this ANPRM provides a discussion of the first
                two identified categories of potential regulatory barriers.
                 Removal of barriers posed by references to traditional manual
                controls in the standards or test procedures, however, does not resolve
                all issues, as NHTSA itself must still be able to test these vehicles
                to ensure their compliance. This ANPRM, therefore, provides several
                alternative compliance verification test methods that commenters
                briefly mentioned in their comments. NHTSA has made no judgment at this
                time regarding which compliance verification test method would be best
                for addressing the particular regulatory barriers, if any, and expects
                that it may be possible that the feasibility, including meeting the
                requirements of the Safety Act, of a particular compliance strategy
                would depend on the context in which it is used. It is NHTSA's hope
                that the feedback received in response to this ANPRM will support this
                and future rulemaking activities and clarify the compliance methods
                that would best address any crash avoidance regulatory barriers that
                may exist today.
                IV. Stakeholder Feedback
                 On January 18, 2018, the agency issued an RFC seeking public
                comments to identify regulatory barriers in the existing FMVSS to the
                testing, compliance certification, and compliance verification of motor
                vehicles equipped with ADS and certain unconventional interior designs
                (83 FR 2607). The agency received roughly 100 comment submissions to
                the RFC.\25\ Comments were received from a diverse group of
                stakeholders including safety advocates; trade associations; individual
                vehicle manufacturers; automotive suppliers; state and local government
                agencies; international standards organizations working groups;
                insurance/legal; research institutions; policy centers; consultants;
                workers'/union representatives; and individuals. In addition, to
                support the RFC, NHTSA held a public meeting on March 6, 2018 (83 FR
                6148) in Washington, DC, at which VTTI presented an overview of their
                NHTSA-funded project focused on the development of options for
                potential FMVSSs and compliance test procedure revisions.
                 \25\ Docket No. NHTSA-2018-0009.
                 Comments were requested in two main areas: (1) Barriers to testing,
                certification, and compliance verification and (2) research needed to
                address those barriers and NHTSA's role in conducting such research.
                Topics discussed by commenters included, for example, suggestions for
                regulatory strategies for ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls;
                specific barriers; suggestions about the use of interpretations and
                exemptions to remove regulatory barriers; importance of maintaining and
                ensuring safety for all road users; activities being conducted by
                industry standard organizations; potential impacts to the environment
                and the workforce; considerations from local and state government
                organizations; data acquisition, use and protection; research needs;
                among others. Input received from these stakeholders, as it relates to
                the focus of this ANPRM, is included and referenced throughout this
                document. A brief summary of comments follows.
                 Vehicle manufacturers and technology companies suggested that NHTSA
                consider all regulatory tools in the near term, including
                interpretations and exemptions, to address regulatory uncertainty
                instead of relying on the notice and comment rulemaking process. While
                NHTSA is utilizing these processes, where appropriate, the agency is
                concurrently pursuing regulatory action to address issues that require
                changes to the regulatory text.
                 Some safety advocates stated that, before removing regulatory
                barriers, new FMVSSs are needed for ADSs to avoid unintended safety
                consequences. Vehicle manufacturers and technology companies also
                generally stated that NHTSA should focus on conventional vehicles
                equipped with ADSs first, and that barriers unaffected by the absence
                or presence of traditional manual controls could be addressed later.
                Further, there was some disagreement amongst commenters regarding which
                FMVSSs should be retained, even for ADS-DVs without traditional manual
                 The agency agrees that the existing FMVSSs neither have provisions
                addressing the capabilities of ADSs nor prohibit ADS hardware or
                software, but believes that unique aspects of ADSs warrant further
                research to assess how to best structure any new regulation in a way
                that appropriately addresses safety issues. Accordingly, the agency's
                focus in this document is on the narrower question of how to amend the
                FMVSS to safely permit ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls . .
                . The agency, therefore, discusses an approach to address challenges
                for crash avoidance standards, with an emphasis on what the agency
                could do to clarify how it will conduct compliance verification testing
                for the two previously identified categories of barriers.
                 The agency also received comments on other topics such as data,
                cybersecurity, and impact of ADS-DVs without traditional manual
                controls on traffic congestion, transit, land use, the environment,
                jobs, and training. Although, not the focus of this document, the
                agency has reviewed and appreciates stakeholders' perspectives on these
                topics. Other NHTSA and DOT activities, including the Pilot Program for
                Collaborative Research on Motor Vehicles with High or Full Driving
                Automation ANPRM, Study on the Impacts of Automated Vehicle
                Technologies on the Workforce, and voluntary guidance documents, are
                examining some of these issues and may inform future regulatory
                V. Addressing Barriers in the FMVSS
                 In the ANPRM, NHTSA furthers the discussion begun in the RFC by
                seeking comment on potential strategies to safely address regulatory
                barriers to the compliance verification of ADS-DVs without traditional
                manual controls. Because the agency believes that safety should be the
                primary focus of its efforts to address barriers to ADS-DVs, we ask
                that commenters explain how the use of the different regulatory
                approaches discussed in this document would affect vehicle safety.
                 In this section, the agency describes and provides illustrative
                examples of the two predominant categories of regulatory barriers to
                [[Page 24438]]
                certification that exist in the crash avoidance standards.
                 The crash avoidance standards, located in the FMVSS 100-series, are
                designed to reduce the likelihood of a crash occurring or, failing
                that, reduce the severity of a crash by reducing the velocity of
                vehicles involved in a crash. This is in contrast to the agency's
                crashworthiness standards, located in the FMVSS 200-series, which are
                designed to reduce the risk of injury to occupants in a crash. Thus,
                the most prominent historical examples of crash avoidance standards
                concern: Lighting, mirrors and other measures to enhance visibility;
                braking requirements; and measures related to tires. More recently,
                this category of standards includes the agency's requirements that rely
                on advanced safety systems, including electronic stability control
                (ESC), rear visibility systems, and sound alerts for pedestrians, as
                these technologies, like more advanced ADS technologies, are designed
                to decrease the likelihood of a crash.
                 The agency has established that most of the barriers within the
                crash avoidance standards fall into one of the following three types:
                 1. The standard requires a manual control.
                 2. The standard specifies how the agency will use manual controls
                in the regulatory description of how it will test.
                 3. The definition or use of terms (e.g., ``driver'') in the FMVSS
                that assume human control of vehicles.
                 The following sections discuss these first two types of barriers by
                focusing on a prominent example of each barrier and how the agency
                could address this type of barrier. The third type of barrier has
                impacts on all of NHTSA's standards, and therefore will be addressed in
                the agency's future documents.
                A. Example #1 (FMVSS No. 135): Manual Control Required
                 The first type of barrier to the compliance verification of an ADS-
                DV without traditional manual controls is when a safety standard
                directly requires a manual control be provided in the vehicle.
                 FMVSS No. 135, ``Light vehicle brake systems,'' provides an
                illustrative example of a standard that serves as a potential barrier
                because it requires that vehicles be equipped a manual control and
                requires that this manual control be used to test compliance.
                Specifically, per FMVSS No. 135, S5.3, all light vehicles must be
                equipped with service brakes that ``shall be activated by means of a
                foot control.''
                 Evaluation and discussion of this barrier is not new--NHTSA's
                interpretation letter to Google stated that the agency would need to
                commence rulemaking to consider an amendment to FMVSS No. 135.\26\ The
                agency is carefully assessing the overall safety impacts of removing
                any potential barriers in FMVSS No. 135.
                 RFC Comments: A number of commenters to the RFC specifically
                discussed the FMVSS No. 135 ``foot control'' requirement as a potential
                barrier to the design of their ADS-DVs without traditional manual
                controls. Overall, many of the industry commenters requested that NHTSA
                remove the reference to a foot control. However, other commenters,
                including some safety advocates, requested that NHTSA focus its efforts
                on creating additional standards to regulate the ADS rather than
                removing or modifying components of current standards. Some commenters
                also requested that NHTSA examine any risks associated with permitting
                the removal of brake system controls and advocated for a holistic
                assessment of all risks each FMVSS mitigates.
                 NHTSA's Preliminary Analysis: To consider how best to address a
                regulatory barrier such as that imposed by the FMVSS No. 135 ``foot
                control'' requirement, NHTSA believes it is important to first consider
                the safety purpose of the standard. For example, the stated purpose of
                FMVSS No. 135 is to ``ensure safe braking performance under normal and
                emergency driving conditions.'' \27\ A foot-controlled brake serves
                several interests. First, it ensures that a driver can decelerate the
                vehicle while maintaining maximum control over the steering input.
                Second, it ensures that a driver will always know that brakes are
                actuated by foot controls. Third, absent power brake technology, a
                driver can apply more force with a foot pedal than by using a hand-
                operated control. Some of these interests are less relevant today than
                in the past. For example, power brake technology can substantially
                reduce the force required to actuate the service brakes and is found in
                the vast majority of new vehicles produced today.
                 \27\ 49 CFR 571.135.
                 In considering whether to remove a requirement for a manual control
                such as a foot-actuated service brake control, it is critical to
                consider broader impacts on safety. Specifically, in order to assess
                the overall impact of removing the requirement that service brakes be
                operated by foot control, NHTSA must consider the reasoned expectation
                that a human driver will reliably use the service brakes to avoid
                 Thus, NHTSA is considering four possible approaches to address
                requirements for manual controls such as the foot-actuated brake pedal
                requirement in FMVSS No. 135. As these are general approaches to this
                issue, they are not intended to address specific standards, which may
                have underlying statutory mandates that could limit the agency's
                 First, if the required control is necessary for motor
                vehicle safety on all vehicles, NHTSA would retain the requirement for
                all vehicles, even if that requires potentially redundant technologies
                for certain ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls.
                 Second, if the required control is no longer necessary for
                motor vehicle safety for any vehicle, NHTSA could remove or otherwise
                modify the requirement, if permitted to by law.
                 Third, if the required control is still necessary for
                motor vehicle safety for traditional vehicles, but not necessary for
                the safety of ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls, NHTSA could
                retain the requirement only for traditional vehicles and, if permitted
                by law, exclude ADS-DVs without manual controls.
                 Fourth, if the required control is necessary for motor
                vehicle safety, but a different control (i.e., a non-human-actuated
                control) would be necessary for an ADS-DV to perform the same function,
                NHTSA may retain the existing requirement for traditional vehicles, but
                have a separate, different control or equipment requirement for ADS-DVs
                without traditional manual controls.
                B. Example #2 (FMVSS No. 126): Existing Test Procedures That Cannot Be
                Executed Absent Traditional Manual Controls
                 The second type of barrier is when the test procedure for a
                standard specifies how the agency will use manual controls in the
                regulatory description of how it will test vehicles' compliance with
                the performance requirements of an FMVSS, even though the standard
                itself does not require a manual control. Typically, NHTSA's safety
                standards outline performance requirements that must be met under
                certain test procedures and NHTSA will conduct compliance verification
                tests in accordance with these procedures. Some descriptions of how
                NHTSA will conduct a FMVSS compliance verification test reference
                controls that
                [[Page 24439]]
                are not present on ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls, or not
                provided in the same capacity as a vehicle with manual controls.
                 An example of this type of barrier is in FMVSS No. 126; Electronic
                Stability Control (ESC) Systems for Light Vehicles. The purpose of
                FMVSS No. 126 is to reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries that
                result from crashes in which the driver loses directional control of
                the vehicle, including those resulting in vehicle rollover, by
                requiring that vehicles be installed with an ESC system that meets the
                performance requirements established in the standard.\28\ The FMVSS,
                therefore, is about the performance of the ESC system, not any
                traditional manual control. However, the compliance test included in
                the regulation states that ``a steering machine programmed to execute
                the required steering pattern must be used.'' \29\ This paragraph says
                that the agency will use a steering machine, which mounts to the
                vehicle steering wheel and, through computer programming, is used to
                apply steering inputs at specific magnitudes, rates, and timing, when
                conducting the tests within the ESC standard. This requirement is based
                on the assumption at the time of the standard's promulgation that all
                vehicles subject to FMVSS No. 126 would have steering wheels. However,
                for an ADS-DV without a traditional steering wheel, the manufacturer of
                the vehicle is left without the necessary information as to how the
                agency will conduct a compliance verification test, and therefore,
                lacks the regulatory certainty it would normally have when conducting
                its certification testing for a traditional vehicle. Further, NHTSA
                would also not be able to conduct its own compliance test. Thus, in
                this scenario, it is impossible to determine whether the ESC is
                adequately functioning.
                 \28\ 49 CFR 571.126.
                 \29\ 49 CFR 571.126, S6.3.5.
                 RFC Comments: Several commenters provided feedback on possible
                alternate test methods to verify compliance with FMVSS No. 126. Many of
                these comments concerned how compliance could be verified once the
                agency has determined how to modify the test procedure to remove the
                reference to the traditional manual control. These issues are addressed
                in the following section. With regard to how the procedures themselves
                could be modified, some commenters suggested that the agency focus on
                identifying alternate performance criteria to address the safety intent
                of the standard using different metrics (i.e., lateral displacement,
                peak yaw rate, and instant yaw rate). Specific to the ESC test, one
                commenter suggested an alternate metric to steering wheel angle
                suggested by commenters was the angle of the front wheels relative to
                the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. Other commenters suggest that,
                instead of making substantial changes to existing standards, NHTSA
                should consider issuing a separate set of standards specifically for
                 NHTSA's Preliminary Analysis: Considering the FMVSS No. 126 example
                above, the purpose of this standard is to ``reduce the number of deaths
                and injuries that result from crashes in which the driver loses
                directional control of the vehicle, including those resulting in
                vehicle rollover.'' That is, the agency did not promulgate the rule for
                the purpose of requiring a steering wheel or regulating the performance
                of the steering wheel, but used the equipment it reasonably anticipated
                at the time would be included in any of the vehicles for which ESC
                would be required. The agency tentatively believes that other standards
                that present similar types of barriers were also intended to address
                the performance of some other part of the vehicle, rather than the
                manual control. Therefore, the agency could modify the test procedure
                in such a way that removes or modifies the reference to the control
                without affecting the performance of the regulated aspect of the
                 There are numerous ways that this could be done. For example, if an
                ADS-DV lacks traditional manual controls but continues to have some way
                to control the vehicle (e.g., through a wireless application), the
                agency could revise the test procedure to reference alternative types
                of controls. Alternatively, it may be that these vehicles will also
                continue to have equipment that the agency can use to test the
                performance of a regulated component. For example, although vehicles
                without traditional manual controls will not have a steering wheel,
                they will have a steering system that controls the directional motion
                of the vehicle based on inputted path or destination information.\30\
                NHTSA may be able to identify a different point within the steering
                system at which the magnitude of a turn can be measured. If such a
                point can be identified and a means of commanding the translated input
                to the vehicle can be developed, NHTSA could conduct the ESC compliance
                test in the same manner as it is done on vehicles with steering wheels.
                NHTSA requests comment on this analysis and possible approaches for
                addressing test procedures that presume the presence of manual
                controls, such as the steering wheel angle portion of FMVSS No. 126.
                Another approach may be to identify and evaluate other relevant
                performance metrics. For example, replacing the steering wheel angle
                requirements with a wheel angle requirement. Further, the agency could
                more dramatically revise the standard to address the performance of the
                regulated feature or component by considering the safety intent of the
                standard. For example, for ESC, the safety intent is to reduce deaths
                and injuries from crashes in which the driver loses directional control
                of the vehicle. If NHTSA took this type of broad view, it could
                potentially replace the sine-with-dwell maneuver with some type of road
                course that would assess the ADS-DV's ability to steer to avoid
                obstacles, potentially including a variant of the sine-with-dwell
                maneuver, thereby testing the associated lateral accelerations, yaw
                rates, etc. However, to develop an objective, repeatable road course to
                replace the sine-with-dwell maneuver and adequately evaluate a
                vehicle's ESC system would require considerable research, so other
                nearer-term solutions would still need to be considered.
                 \30\ Separately, FMVSS No. 203; ``Impact protections for the
                driver from the steering control system'' defines a steering control
                system as ``the basic steering mechanism and its associated trim
                hardware, including any portion of a steering column assembly that
                provides energy absorption upon impact. SAE documents refer to
                ``lower steering system'', the ``upper steering system'', ``power
                assist systems,'' and ``advanced steering systems.'' The lower
                steering system includes, but is not limited to, the wheel end,
                suspension geometry, linkages, and steering gear. The upper steering
                system includes, but is not limited to, the steering column and
                intermediate shaft. The power assist system includes, but is not
                limited to, any hydraulic, electro-hydraulic, and electric power
                steering functionalities. Finally, the advanced steering systems
                include, but are not limited to, rear wheel steer, active front
                steer, active park assist, and other driver assistance systems. See
                SAE C0716 ``Fundamentals of Steering Systems,'' available at
                 The agency seeks comment on the feasibility of these and other
                approaches, including explanation of how any potential changes to the
                regulatory text will affect vehicle safety.\31\
                 \31\ The agency understands that FMVSS No. 136, Electronic
                Stability Control for Heavy Vehicles, presents similar issues as
                those discussed for FMVSS No. 126.
                C. Additional Barrier Examples
                 The above two examples demonstrate different types of barriers that
                exist for manufacturers interested in certifying ADS-DVs that lack
                traditional manual
                [[Page 24440]]
                controls to existing requirements in the FMVSSs. These barriers are not
                mutually exclusive, as a particular standard could include both types
                of barriers.
                 The agency has tentatively identified the types of barriers in the
                following provisions: In FMVSS No. 108, hazard warning signal flashers
                and operating units, beam switching devices, and turn signal operating
                units; in FMVSS No. 114, depressing the brake pedal and references to
                the parking brake; in FMVSS No. 138, driving the vehicle on the Uniform
                Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) public roadways as part of the compliance
                test procedure; as well as similar provisions in the standards that
                apply specifically for heavy vehicles, including FMVSS No. 105, 121,
                and 136. See the table below categorizing each of these additional
                examples by the type of barrier it represents.
                 Barrier type 2--
                 Barrier type 1-- specifies the use
                 requires a manual of manual controls
                 control in a compliance
                 test procedure
                FMVSS No. 108:
                 Hazard warning signal X X
                 flasher or operating unit
                 Beam switching device..... X X
                 Turn signal operating unit X X
                FMVSS No. 114:
                 Reference to parking brake ................... X
                 Depressing the brake pedal X ...................
                FMVSS No. 138:
                 Driving the vehicle on the ................... X
                 UTQG public roadways as
                 part of the compliance
                 test procedure...........
                FMVSS No. 105:
                 Reference to a specific X ...................
                 device that reduces
                 operator effort and
                 mentions muscular force
                 in the definition of
                 brake power assist.......
                 Manual control to be used ................... X
                 during testing of the
                 hydraulic and electric
                 brake systems............
                FMVSS No. 121:
                Mention a ``service brake X X
                Mentions ``actuation of the X X
                 parking brake control''......
                Parking brake control--trucks X X
                 and buses. The parking brake
                 control shall be separate
                 from the service brake
                 control. It shall be operable
                 by a person seated in the
                 normal driving position. The
                 control shall be identified
                 in a manner that specifies
                 the method of control
                 operation. The parking brake
                 control shall control the
                 parking brakes of the vehicle
                 and of any air braked vehicle
                 that it is designed to tow...
                FMVSS No. 136:................
                Transmission and Brake ................... X
                 Controls. The transmission
                 selector control is in a
                 forward gear during all
                 maneuvers. A vehicle equipped
                 with an engine braking system
                 that is engaged and
                 disengaged by the driver is
                 tested with the system
                 The agency has a series of questions relating to the examples
                listed above in this section and to the next section. Thus, the
                questions will be listed after the following section.
                VI. Possible Approaches To Revising Crash Avoidance Test Procedures
                 The above discussion concerns how the agency could remove
                references to traditional manual controls in both the standards and
                test procedures. However, that begs the question: once vehicles no long
                have traditional manual controls, how will NHTSA be able to test them
                to ensure that they meet the revised standards? Without traditional
                controls, NHTSA will have to confront such varied issues as: how to get
                a vehicle it purchases for compliance testing from the test facility;
                how it will direct the vehicle to perform the required test procedure;
                how it will deal with a vehicle whose ODD does not include a test
                facility; and so on.
                 Below are several general approaches NHTSA could consider in
                developing a document proposing to amend the existing 100-series FMVSS
                requirements and test procedures for ADS-DVs without manual controls in
                a way that allows NHTSA to conducts testing for vehicles that are not
                required to have traditional manual controls. NHTSA developed these
                approaches in response to certain comments \32\ received in response to
                the January 2018 RFC, as well as NHTSA's own internal analysis. NHTSA's
                goal is to ensure that the testing methods it specifies for its use in
                testing ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls are practicable and
                objective, and otherwise meet the requirements of the Safety Act.
                 \32\ The agency's discussions of those approaches do not include
                a summary of what the commenters said about the approaches. This is
                because the commenters simply identified them; they did not describe
                them or explore of their possible advantages/disadvantages. Where
                possible, the agency does provide a citation to an example of the
                comments that mention one or more of those approaches.
                 The agency requests comment on the following approaches: (1) Normal
                ADS-DV operation; (2) Test Mode with Pre-Programmed Execution (TMPE);
                (3) Test Mode with External Control (TMEC); (4) Simulation; (5)
                Technical Documentation for System Design and/or Performance Approach;
                and (6) Use of Surrogate Vehicle with Human Controls. The agency also
                requests comment on whether any additional alternatives are possible.
                In addition to answers to the questions that appear after the
                discussion of each approach, NHTSA requests that commenters answer
                these questions for each of the approaches:
                 1. What are the possible advantages and disadvantages of each
                 2. Discuss whether each approach fits the requirements and criteria
                of the Safety Act and enables effective enforcement of the FMVSSs.
                Explain the basis for your answers.
                 3. Can more than one of these approaches be specified by the agency
                as alternative ways for the agency to determine compliance with the
                same requirement in the same FMVSS? If so, please describe how this
                could be done consistent with the Vehicle Safety Act, using one or more
                specific FMVSS requirements as illustrative examples. If more than one
                approach could be specified for the same requirement in the same FMVSS,
                do commenters believe that the agency, in assessing
                [[Page 24441]]
                compliance with the same requirement in the same FMVSS, choose one
                approach for one vehicle model, but another approach for a different
                model? If so, explain why.
                 4. If only one of these approaches can be used to enforce a
                particular FMVSS requirement, what factors should be considered in
                selecting that approach? What policy or other considerations should
                guide the agency in choosing one alternative approach versus another
                for determining the compliance of a particular vehicle or item of
                 5. With respect to any single approach or combination of
                approaches, could it be ensured that the compliance of all makes and
                models across the industry is measured by the same yard stick, i.e.,
                that all vehicles are held to the same standard of performance, in
                meeting the same FMVSS requirement?
                 6. What other potential revisions or additions to terms, in
                addition to `driver', are necessary for crash avoidance standards that
                NHTSA should consider defining or modifying to better communicate how
                the agency intends to conduct compliance verification of ADS vehicle.
                 7. Should NHTSA consider an approach to establish new definitions
                that apply only to ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls?
                 8. For compliance testing methods involving adjusting current test
                procedures to allow alternative methods of controlling the test vehicle
                during the test (normal ADS-DV function, TMPE, TMEC), or to allow the
                use of a surrogate vehicle:
                 a. How could NHTSA ensure that the test vehicle's performance using
                the compliance method is an accurate proxy for the ADS-DV's performance
                during normal operation?
                 b. If NHTSA were to incorporate the test method into its test
                procedures, would NHTSA need to adjust the performance requirements for
                each standard (in addition to the test procedures) to adequately
                maintain the focus on safety for an ADS-DV?
                 9. For compliance testing methods that replace physical tests with
                non-physical requirements (simulation, documentation):
                 a. If the test method is used to determine compliance with a real-
                world test, how can NHTSA validate the accuracy of a simulation or
                 b. If NHTSA must run real-world tests to validate a simulation or
                documentation, what is the advantage of non-physical requirements over
                these other compliance methods?
                 10. Would non-physical requirements simply replicate the existing
                physical tests in a virtual world? If not, what would be the nature of
                the non-physical requirements (that is, what performance metrics would
                these requirements use, and how would NHTSA measure them)? Are there
                ways that NHTSA could amend the FMVSSs to remove barriers to ADS-DVs
                that would not require using the compliance test methods described in
                 a. Are there any barriers in the FMVSS or NHTSA's test procedures
                that could be addressed by altering or removing references to manual
                controls in the test procedures without substantively changing the
                FMVSS performance requirement?
                 b. Are there any changes that NHTSA could make to the FMVSS test
                procedures that could incorporate basic ADS capabilities to demonstrate
                performance, such as using an ADS-DV's capability to recognize and obey
                a stop sign to test service brake performance?
                 11. What research or data exists to show that the compliance test
                method would adequately maintain the focus on ADS-DV safety? What
                modifications of the safety standards would be necessary to enable the
                use of the test method?
                A. Normal ADS-DV Operation
                 One possible approach for vehicle manufacturers to use for self-
                certification, and the agency to use for compliance verification, is
                the ``Normal ADS-DV Operation'' approach. This approach involves
                operating the ADS-DV without traditional manual controls ``as-is'' with
                no extra programming and/or installation of any kind of manual controls
                for test maneuver execution. The ADS would be in control of the vehicle
                during compliance testing with all of its operational restrictions and
                decision-making capabilities in place. In its most basic form,
                compliance verification using Normal ADS-DV Operation would require the
                engineer performing the compliance test to input an appropriate
                destination using the same input method indicated by the ADS-DV's
                manufacturer for real-world operation. Vehicle performance would be
                observed and assessed during the period of normal on-road vehicle
                 The Normal ADS-DV Operation approach may provide the most
                ``realistic'' representation of how the vehicle would perform during
                normal use. This approach could allow NHTSA to continue acquiring
                vehicles in the same way that U.S. consumers do, from commercial
                dealerships, and testing actual vehicles to verify they meet the FMVSS
                requirements.\33\ NHTSA is interested in maintaining its policy to buy
                and test new production vehicles from dealership lots, to the extent
                possible. NHTSA believes that there are several test requirements in
                the FMVSSs for which Normal ADS-DV Operation may be a feasible
                compliance option if certain assumptions are correct. For example, the
                FMVSS No. 138 procedure for testing a vehicle's tire pressure
                monitoring system requires that the test vehicle is driven on a
                specific public roadway for a specified distance at the posted roadway
                speeds. During the test, the vehicle is stopped along the way to reduce
                tire inflation pressure and then driven again until a low inflation
                pressure indication is obtained. This test procedure could be modified
                to permit use of the Normal ADS-DV Operation approach for ADS-DVs by
                allowing the driving portion of the test to be performed by the ADS,
                which would be commanded by the test engineer using the ADS-DV's normal
                input method to select a destination.
                 \33\ This statement assumes that ADS-DVs will be sold or leased
                to individual owners, similarly to how traditional vehicles are
                sold. This assumption may be incorrect if the majority of ADS-DVs
                are used as rideshare vehicles.
                 The primary drawback to the Normal ADS-DV Operation approach for
                ADS-DVs that lack manual controls is that its application is limited to
                test procedure requirements capable of being performed within the
                Operational Design Domain (ODD) \34\ of the ADS. As such, tests
                involving vehicle maneuvers or operation at speeds, locations, or other
                operating conditions not experienced within the vehicle's ODD could not
                be performed using this method. For example, a vehicle whose ODD does
                not include the specified test track for the above TPMS test, whether
                for geographic or road-type restrictions, could not use this approach
                to conduct the test. Another drawback of this approach, which several
                of the alternatives below attempt to correct, is that, even if a
                vehicle's ODD could allow it to perform a test, the vehicle may not be
                equipped with the controls necessary to allow NHTSA to actually conduct
                the test.
                 \34\ The ODD is the operating conditions under which a given
                driving automation system or feature thereof is specifically
                designed to function, including, but not limited to, environmental,
                geographical, and time-of-day restrictions, and/or the requisite
                presence or absence of certain traffic or roadway characteristics.
                SAE J3016_201806 Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to
                Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles.
                 For NHTSA to evaluate the feasibility of the Normal ADS-DV
                Operation approach for compliance verification,
                [[Page 24442]]
                the agency would need more information about the extent to which an
                ADS-DV can be controlled under normal operation. In addition, it is
                possible that normal control could be used on some vehicles but not on
                others, since manufacturers may implement different methods for vehicle
                operators to communicate with and command the vehicle to accomplish on-
                road driving. To the extent that some but not all ADS-DVs could be
                designed to allow for this type of testing, at least for certain
                standards, it may be challenging for NHTSA to design appropriately
                objective standards to cover all ADS-DVs. To address these issues,
                NHTSA believes it is essential to better understand how operators will
                interface with and operate these ADS-DVs without traditional manual
                controls under normal conditions.
                 To better understand the ``Normal ADS-DV Operation'' approach and
                its possible applications, the agency asks the following questions.
                Questions Specific to This Testing Method (General Questions Precede
                This Section)
                 12. What design concepts are vehicle manufacturers considering
                relating to how an ADS-DV passenger/operator will interface with, or
                command (e.g., via verbal or manual input), the ADS to accomplish any
                driving task within its ODD? Please explain each design concept and
                exactly how each would be commanded to execute on-road trips.
                 13. Are there specific challenges that will be encountered with
                this kind of approach for vehicle compliance verification? Please be
                specific and explain each challenge.
                 14. Will all ADS-DVs without traditional manual controls be capable
                of receiving and acting upon simple commands not consisting of a street
                address based destination, such as ``drive forward or backwards a
                distance of 10 feet and stop''; ``shift from park to drive and
                accelerate to 25 mph''; ``drive up onto a car hauler truck trailer'';
                etc.? Please explain projected challenges for ADS-DVs without
                traditional manual controls to complete discrete driving commands and
                 15. How would NHTSA ensure that the performance of the ADS-DV
                during testing is consistent with how the vehicle would perform during
                actual normal use?
                B. Test Mode With Pre-Programmed Execution (TMPE)
                 A TMPE is an approach to compliance testing in which the
                manufacturer programs into the ADS-DV a test mode that gives the test
                engineer access to a pre-programmed ``compliance test library'' from
                which pre-programmed testing scenarios can be selected and executed.
                The testing programs in the compliance library would be used to
                automatically perform the driving actions necessary for each applicable
                FMVSS compliance test. Pre-programmed execution is conceptually similar
                to that achieved via use of an external controller, discussed in detail
                below, in that it involves specific commands being sent to the ADS for
                purposes of executing compliance test procedures, with the key
                difference being the source of the commands. TMPE-based tests would be
                performed by using a manufacturer-installed suite of compliance testing
                programs; no external controller interface with the ADS-DV would be
                required to perform specified FMVSS compliance tests. A means of
                maneuvering the vehicle for purposes other than compliance tests may be
                necessary to load it onto or off of a transport vehicle and to move it
                in areas not part of its ODD, such as between a garage and test course
                at a compliance test facility.
                 While GM and ZF Group (ZF) briefly suggested that concepts similar
                to TMPE may be a viable approach, Mercedes and the Alliance of
                Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), who discussed TMPE in greater
                detail, raised a number of potential problems that NHTSA believes may
                need to be addressed for it to be a viable method for compliance
                testing. Both Mercedes and the Alliance noted that pre-programmed
                execution may not be possible for test procedures that require driving
                maneuvers that are outside of an ADS's ODD. For example, an ADS-DV that
                is designed to be operated by the ADS only at lower speeds, but that
                does not qualify as a low-speed vehicle as defined by 571.3 (allowing
                it to be subject to the limited performance requirements of FMVSS No.
                500), may lack the functionality to perform higher-speed maneuvers
                required for demonstrating compliance with certain standards (e.g.,
                FMVSS Nos. 126; Electronic stability control systems and 135; Light
                vehicle brake systems). In addition, both Mercedes and the Alliance
                also raised the concern that the TMPE's test mode present a
                vulnerability for cybersecurity-related issues, and that issues such as
                providing mapping data for the specific proving grounds or other
                facilities at which test procedure is executed would need to be
                 TMPE may be useful for assessing FMVSS compliance with test track-
                based performance requirements because it enables a test engineer to
                directly instruct an ADS-DV to execute the driving maneuvers necessary
                to perform the FMVSS test procedures. Since the ADS-DV would be
                programmed with the compliance library by the manufacturer at the time
                of production, compatibility of the commands within the library and
                vehicle being evaluated should be ensured (i.e., translation of the
                commands defined within the FMVSS test procedures to a format
                understood by the ADS is not required).
                 TMPE also has the potential for streamlining the testing process.
                Rather than performing tests intended to characterize the ADS-DV
                without traditional manual controls (i.e., the brake application needed
                to activate ABS during an FMVSS No. 135 evaluation, or the steering
                input needed to achieve 0.3g during an FMVSS No. 126 assessment), the
                ADS-DV would be pre-programmed with testing information that presumably
                would precisely execute the FMVSS test procedures. In addition, NHTSA
                could validate (i.e., confirm that the characterization tests that
                provide the data needed to define the input parameters used to perform
                tests used in standards like FMVSS No. 126 and 135 have been correctly
                performed and have output the expected values) these pre-programmed
                configurations relatively easily by equipping the ADS-DV with
                conventional instrumentation during conduct of the FMVSS assessments in
                a manner consistent with that presently in use. NHTSA also imagines
                TMPE could be implemented at a relatively low cost, because
                manufacturers could simply program the vehicles' TMPE compliance
                library with the same compliance test programs the manufacturer uses
                for its own development testing.
                 Notwithstanding these potential benefits, additional information
                regarding the way in which a pre-programmed FMVSS compliance test
                library may be implemented is needed to allow NHTSA to better
                understand the viability of the concept. For example, how would the
                test engineer responsible for performing the tests access the
                compliance library so they may select a specific test to perform? This
                could conceivably be via a ``test menu'' presented on an original
                equipment visual display within the ADS-DV. However, an OEM may not
                want to provide an obvious or visual means of accessing a pre-
                [[Page 24443]]
                compliance test library to minimize the opportunity for individuals not
                performing compliance testing to access the test library. If access to
                a test menu is not provided, some means of communicating with the
                vehicle to select and initiate specific tests will be necessary, such
                as through the use of an external controller. However, NHTSA
                understands that granting access to the ADS-DV by means of any external
                controller represents a potential security risk, and would therefore
                like to better understand the way(s) a test engineer may be expected to
                securely access the compliance library and test menu required for
                performing FMVSS evaluations.
                 NHTSA also seeks to better understand transportation concerns with
                moving the vehicle to the desired test location and testing the vehicle
                at that location. The test areas used for FMVSS certification on test
                tracks and proving grounds can be very different than public roads and
                potentially outside the ODD of the test vehicle. Even if the ADS-DV is
                transported (i.e., not driven) to, and unloaded at, a designated test
                area, test instrumentation (and potentially the vehicle itself)
                typically requires a sequence of short driving maneuvers be performed
                to initialize vehicle- and instrumentation-based sensors, and for the
                vehicle to be positioned at a staging point that may not necessarily be
                the same day-to-day or even trial-to-trial. Should the vehicle need to
                return to the staging point after completion of a trial, it is expected
                that the return path will need to be made in accordance with test
                facility operating guidelines to safely avoid other traffic, and obey
                any direction of travel and facility use restrictions, etc. The return
                path may not necessarily be the most direct one.
                 For the sake of maximizing test safety, it may be desirable to
                terminate a test performed with an ADS-DV if it is not being performed
                correctly, if the vehicle experiences a malfunction, or other traffic
                unexpectedly appears, etc. In some cases, it may be necessary to
                quickly brake the vehicle to a stop. One means of doing so could be
                through use of an emergency stop (E-stop) option within the test menu.
                To maximize the effectiveness of the E-stop, the mechanism would need
                to be quickly and easily accessible by the test engineer responsible
                for performing and/or observing test conduct. NHTSA is interested in
                better understanding the feasibility of incorporating an E-stop
                function into the ADS-DV for use during compliance testing, and what
                potential security risks doing so may introduce.
                 While attempting to perform advanced driver assistance system
                (ADAS) and/or Level 2 automation system tests within the confines of a
                test track, NHTSA has observed that certain features of some test
                vehicles are not available due to the location where the tests occurred
                (e.g., GM's Super Cruise cannot be enabled within the confines of most
                test tracks since the roads at these facilities do not reside within
                the system's ODD). For this reason, NHTSA is interested in better
                understanding the feasibility of having vehicle manufacturers remove
                any geofence-based operating restrictions while the ADS-DV is being
                operated in a ``test mode'' intended to assess FMVSS compliance.
                 One disadvantage of using an FMVSS compliance library with pre-
                programmed tests not modifiable by the test engineer, is that test
                input characteristics would presumably be fixed and not able to be
                adjusted to be suitable for a particular test surface. Therefore,
                variation in test results across test locations in different geographic
                areas may be worse, since pre-programmed test inputs would be based on
                characterization tests (or even simulations) performed using a
                different test surface, etc. Better understanding the likelihood of
                this variability being great enough to affect maneuver severity is of
                interest to the agency. Also of interest is understanding what test
                tolerances an ADS-DV operating with commands from a compliance library
                may be expected to achieve. For example, FMVSS No. 126 requires a test
                maneuver entrance speed of 50 1 mph (80 2 km/
                Questions Specific to This Testing Method (General Questions Precede
                This Section)
                 16. How could engineers responsible for performing FMVSS compliance
                assessments of an ADS-DV without manual controls be expected to access
                and interface with the compliance test library menu?
                 17. Would the FMVSS need to specify the libraries available to
                NHTSA to test the vehicle?
                 18. Is it practical to expect that an ADS-DV without any
                traditional manually-operated controls can be safely and efficiently
                operated within the confines of a test track with only a pre-programmed
                test menu (i.e., without some form of external controller or other
                means of vehicle control input)?
                 19. Can an ADS-DV be expected to perform within tight tolerance
                levels using the regular on-board sensors?
                 20. How much variation in test results across various test
                locations (i.e., proving grounds) is expected to result from testing an
                ADS-DV equipped with the same FMVSS compliance library at different
                locations? Could the ability to satisfy FMVSS performance requirements
                depend on the location the tests are performed?
                 21. Is it reasonable to assume any geofence-based operating
                restrictions could be suspended while the ADS-DV is operating in a
                ``test mode'' intended to assess FMVSS compliance?
                 22. How could vehicle-based electronically accessible libraries for
                conducting FMVSS testing be developed in a way that would allow NHTSA
                to access the system for compliance testing but not allow unauthorized
                access that could present a security or safety risk to an ADS-DV?
                 23. Are there other considerations NHTSA should be aware of when
                contemplating the viability of programmed execution-based vehicle
                compliance verification?
                 24. When changes or updates are made to the ADS, how will the TMPE
                content be updated to reflect the changes and how often would it be
                C. Test Mode With External Control (TMEC)
                 The TMEC approach suggested by the commenters could largely
                maintain existing 100-series FMVSS test procedures, but allow for test
                procedure steps that require an action by a human driver (e.g.,
                instructions relating to the accelerator or brake pedals) to be
                accomplished using an external controller that is not controlled by the
                ADS, but by a test engineer. This option is closely related to the pre-
                programmed execution option also discussed in this ANPRM; however,
                rather than requiring the tests defined in FMVSS procedures be pre-
                programmed within the vehicle, the commands used to perform the FMVSS
                test procedures (including, but not limited to, those associated with
                the steering wheel, accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and transmission
                shifter) would be sent to the ADS-DV via an external controller
                operated by a test engineer. Under this approach, the external
                controller sending the commands used to perform the FMVSS test
                procedures may be located inside or outside the vehicle and could be
                connected to the vehicle either wirelessly or through a physical
                connection, but would not be part of the vehicle itself. Instead, it
                would be a device either designed and provided to NHTSA by the
                manufacturer or, alternatively, a standard device designed by NHTSA.
                [[Page 24444]]
                 The external control approach was discussed by commenters GM and
                ZF, who both suggested that FMVSS compliance could be demonstrated by a
                human remotely piloting the vehicle. GM suggested that NHTSA could
                collaborate with industry to explore using external control devices and
                facilities that interact with the vehicle. ZF commented that ADS-DVs
                without traditional manual controls ``will have alternate methods of
                inputting driving commands for normal situations (e.g., to input an
                initial destination or route), and also for emergency situations (e.g.,
                rerouting to a new destination, an emergency stop button for
                occupants), in order to provide its desired functionality and level of
                 Like a test mode with programmed execution, a test mode with
                external control would preserve an ability to assess FMVSS compliance
                with test track-based performance requirements because it enables a
                test engineer to directly instruct an ADS-DV to execute the driving
                maneuvers necessary to perform the FMVSS test procedures. NHTSA
                recognizes that some vehicle manufacturers may choose to include
                provisions to accept external controller functionality in their ADS-DVs
                so that the vehicle is able to navigate with areas outside of the ADS's
                ODD, such as during maintenance or on dealer lots.
                 NHTSA assumes that an external controller for compliance test
                purposes could provide test engineers with control over all vehicle
                functions that are relevant to compliance verification and would
                provide a test engineer with a straight-forward way of selecting the
                desired tests and input parameters associated with the test being
                performed. However, there may be other advantages of an external
                controller. For example, external control capabilities that support
                manual operation (e.g., vehicle speed, steering or braking magnitude,
                transmission gear) could be used to safely facilitate transportation of
                the ADS-DV without manual controls between garages and to test pads or
                courses at compliance test facilities. During the conduct of compliance
                testing, an external controller could be used to command maneuvers used
                to initialize the test vehicle and/or test equipment, facilitate pre-
                test staging, and could be configured to provide the test engineer with
                an E-stop function.
                Questions Specific to This Testing Method (General Questions Precede
                This Section)
                 25. Is it reasonable to assume a common (universal) interface,
                translator, and/or communication protocol between an external
                controller and any ADS-DV will be developed?
                 26. What is the most viable method for securely interfacing an
                external controller with the ADS-DV (e.g., wireless or physical
                 27. Could a means of manual control be developed that would allow
                NHTSA to access the system for compliance testing but not allow
                unauthorized access that could present a security or safety risk to an
                 28. Is it reasonable to assume any geofence-based operating
                restrictions could be suspended while an external controller intended
                to assess FMVSS compliance is connected to the ADS-DV?
                 29. Are there other considerations NHTSA should be aware of when
                contemplating the viability of using an external controller-based
                vehicle certification?
                D. Simulation
                 Simulation is an approach for compliance verification by which
                NHTSA could verify that an ADS-DV complies with a FMVSS requirement
                using software or hardware-in-the-loop \35\ based evaluations rather
                than performing on-road or track-based tests with a complete physical
                vehicle. Simulations may be useful for determining how a modeled
                computer system will respond to a given set of inputs. The accuracy of
                a simulation strongly depends on its fidelity to the actual performance
                of the vehicle and validation of the models used to define it.
                 \35\ Hardware-in-the-loop simulation is a type of simulation in
                which the control loop components are comprised of some real
                hardware parts and some simulated parts. R. Isermann, J. Schaffnit,
                S. Sinsel, Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation for the Design and
                Testing of Engine-Control Systems, Algorithms and Architectures for
                Real-Time Control, Cancun, Mexico, 1998.
                 Commenters to the RFC suggested that simulations could be
                particularly useful for certifying compliance with a performance
                standard like FMVSS No. 126, in which the purpose of the test is to
                ensure that the vehicle interprets sensor inputs properly, and that the
                vehicle translates those sensor inputs into outputs to the vehicle's
                driving functions that meet performance requirements. Mercedes noted
                that FMVSS No. 126 effectively already uses a simulation, since the
                required steering mechanism ensures that the vehicle receives a
                standardized set of steering inputs to limit variability. The Alliance
                also noted simulation as a possible ``short-term'' method of
                demonstrating FVMSS No. 126 compliance (as well as other FMVSS) and
                suggested that NHTSA should collaborate with industry stakeholders to
                develop a simulation ``tool,'' which NHTSA could validate as necessary.
                 While some of the comments focused on a manufacturer's own ability
                to use simulation in its certification testing, NHTSA is primarily
                interested in learning more about how NHTSA could potentially use
                simulation to verify compliance, and whether this method is sufficient
                from a legal and technical perspective.
                 Historically, NHTSA has not used a simulation approach for crash
                avoidance FMVSS compliance verification because the most accurate,
                economical, and feasible means of conducting tests has been to perform
                them on a test track, thereby avoiding any questions of simulation
                accuracy. Furthermore, the agency believes there could be additional
                safety benefits of buying and testing actual production vehicles as
                delivered to the consumer, which in the past has identified test
                failures due to vehicle design changes and equipment malfunctions that
                would not ordinarily have been found during vehicle simulations. For
                simulations, it may not be possible to accurately model proprietary
                control algorithms like those within an ADS electronic control unit
                (ECU). Complex simulation models with many inputs (such as those that
                would be necessary to demonstrate compliance with many of the FMVSS)
                are expensive to develop and difficult to validate without performing
                the actual test that is being simulated.
                 However, the agency acknowledges that simulation may play a larger
                role in future performance standards specific to ADS-DVs and other ADS-
                equipped vehicles, because simulations could provide a practical and
                cost-effective means for evaluating a wide array of test and real-world
                operating conditions to which these vehicles will be exposed, and for
                which physical testing to a sufficient degree may be infeasible.
                 For a simulation to be considered for compliance verification,
                there are a number of considerations that the agency believes must be
                accounted for. The most difficult aspect of using simulation as a
                compliance verification method is the validation of the models used.
                This is because a simulation
                [[Page 24445]]
                suitable for an accurate and representative assessment of an ADS-
                equipped vehicle, whether it be an ADS-DV without traditional manual
                controls or one that could allow for manual control at times, would
                likely need to model both the vehicle (including but not limited to its
                chassis, drivetrain, suspension, brake system, tires, and ADS-relevant
                sensors, and any potential discrepancy between a modeled version of the
                vehicle and real-world production model) and the elements used to
                define the road surface and other characteristics of the environment in
                which the tests are performed. Accurate modelling by NHTSA would likely
                require the agency to incorporate vehicle-specific parameters and
                proprietary control algorithms, which may not be available for use by
                NHTSA and, if not available, would require extensive testing at a
                substantial cost for NHTSA to develop a model.
                 As mentioned above, a key part of NHTSA's enforcement
                responsibilities includes buying and testing actual production vehicles
                to verify, ``as-sold'' to the public, that these vehicles meet the
                FMVSS requirements. These actual ``on-track'' tests are important to
                verify compliance but also to help identify a manufacturer's
                certification shortcomings (e.g., suspension design changes that
                inadvertently change the performance of the ESC system, or a part
                replacement that inadvertently changes the performance of a brake
                system) and possible safety-related defects problems that would not
                necessarily be identified through simulation.
                 For research purposes, NHTSA is considering the feasibility of
                working with vehicle manufacturers to develop an application
                programming interface (API) designed to allow a common set of operating
                conditions (which could potentially include those associated with FMVSS
                compliance tests), to interface with their (the vehicle manufacturer's)
                ADS. Conceptually, the API would function as a translator; a means of
                ensuring that simulated input conditions are properly interpreted by
                the ADS so that it, and the vehicle it resides in, responds in the same
                way it would in the real world.
                Questions Specific to This Testing Method (General Questions Precede
                This Section)
                 30. How can simulations be used to assess FMVSS compliance?
                 31. Are there objective, practicable ways for the agency to
                validate simulation models to ensure their accuracy and repeatability?
                 32. Is it feasible to perform hardware-in-the-loop simulations to
                conduct FMVSS compliance verification testing for current FMVSS?
                 33. Is it feasible to perform software-in-the-loop simulations to
                conduct FMVSS compliance verification testing?
                E. Technical Documentation for System Design and/or Performance
                 For the Technical Documentation approach, vehicle-specific
                technical design and/or build documentation (e.g., a system function
                description and logic and/or schematic diagrams) could be provided to
                allow NHTSA to permit an assessment of FMVSS compliance. It should be
                noted that this is different than the technical design documentation
                that is provided to NHTSA today. It is technical design documentation
                used by the manufacturer in the design and construction of the vehicle.
                 Several industry commenters discussed the approach of using
                technical documentation for compliance verification of vehicles for
                specified FMVSS requirements. The commenters noted that documentation
                could be used to address two different kinds of requirements. The first
                kind of requirements include those without performance specifications
                (e.g., the ESC system must have the capability to apply brake torques
                at each wheel and to determine yaw rate). The second kind of
                requirements include those with system performance specifications
                (e.g., during an ESC system sine-with dwell test the yaw rate must not
                exceed 35% of the peak yaw rate 1 second after completion of the
                steering input; or during service brake system tests, with the test
                vehicle operating at 100km/h, the service brake system must be able to
                stop the vehicle within a specified distance).
                 For the first kind of requirements, those that do not include
                performance specifications, the Alliance explained that, ``where there
                are no specific performance requirements within a FMVSS, but there is a
                desire to verify the general component and functional capability, NHTSA
                has included provisions for technical documentation to demonstrate
                FMVSS compliance in the appropriate standards.'' GM stated that,
                ``[t]echnical documentation is particularly useful for identifying
                components and functions for which no discrete performance requirement
                needs to be measured through testing.'' \36\ Both the Alliance and GM
                mentioned FMVSS No. 126 as an example of a standard that NHTSA could
                request technical documentation for certain functionality portions of
                the standard.
                 Considering ADS-DVs without manual controls, for the second kind of
                requirements that do specify system performance requirements, GM stated
                that, in reference to allowing flexibility to demonstrate performance
                requirements specified in FMVSS No. 126 and FMVSS No. 135,
                manufacturers could be required to provide technical documentation
                explaining the methodology used and associated test results. GM stated
                that ``the performance requirements currently specified in FMVSS Nos.
                126 and 135 should be preserved for self-driving vehicles, with
                `technical documentation' to report how the manufacturer certified to
                those requirements.'' The Alliance stated that there are methods that
                could be used as the basis for technical documentation (e.g.,
                simulation, whole vehicle testing, hardware-in-the-loop testing, etc.)
                and believes that research is required to adapt the FMVSS No. 126
                ``sine with dwell'' test procedure for ADS-DVs. The Alliance
                recommended that NHTSA consider adopting a technical documentation
                approach to the ``sine with dwell'' test requirements in the near-term.
                Mercedes stated that manufacturers could demonstrate ADS-DV compliance
                with ESC requirements via technical documentation, although in their
                opinion this approach would be more burdensome both for manufactures
                and for NHTSA.
                 Technical documentation is currently permitted for use in
                demonstrating compliance for a portion of one crash avoidance standard,
                FMVSS No. 126. For this standard, the agency requires manufacturers to
                make available upon request, documentation (i.e., a system diagram, a
                written explanation of how the system works, and a logic diagram)
                demonstrating that a vehicle is equipped with an ESC system that is
                consistent with the definition described in the standard.\37\ During
                the development of the rule, the agency was not able to finalize an
                objective and repeatable performance test to evaluate understeer
                conditions. For this reason, the agency resorted to developing the
                compliance documentation requirements for describing the ESC system's
                capability to address understeer conditions described in S 5.6. FMVSS
                No. 126 S 5.6 states that the manufacturer must make available to
                [[Page 24446]]
                the agency upon request, documentation that includes a discussion on
                the pertinent inputs to the ESC computer or calculations within the
                computer and how the algorithm uses that information and controls ESC
                system hardware to limit understeer. A system diagram, depicting all
                the ESC system hardware is used as part of the compliance verification
                of the ESC definition to identify the components used for brake torque
                generation at each wheel and yaw rate monitoring. An additional written
                explanation and the logic diagrams are also used, as part of the
                compliance verification, to better describe how all the components work
                together to address vehicle instabilities. While NHTSA has used
                technical documentation for one portion of one standard, the agency did
                so as a measure of last resort because technical documentation does not
                confirm the level of performance for the physical vehicle.
                 \37\ 49 CFR 571.126, S5.6.
                 For the second kind of requirements (i.e., requirements that
                include system performance specifications) the commenters discussed
                using various kinds of performance or test data documentation for
                compliance verification. In the regulatory language of many FMVSS,
                NHTSA provides test procedures so vehicle manufacturers know how NHTSA
                will test their vehicles and equipment. In addition to testing,
                occasionally, and typically in the context of an enforcement
                investigation into potential noncompliance with a FMVSS, NHTSA requests
                a manufacturer submit documentation/data that illustrates its basis for
                certification. Upon NHTSA's request, most manufacturers provide test
                reports similar to the reports generated by NHTSA contracted test labs
                (showing the results of the manufacturer's testing, just as NHTSA would
                have reports exhibiting the results of its own testing). For many of
                the crash avoidance FMVSSs, as their basis for compliance, vehicle
                manufacturers conduct testing in a similar manner as NHTSA conducts
                compliance verification, namely, using the same test procedures, test
                equipment and data collecting process. If this process changes and
                manufacturers solely provide NHTSA with the reports that include the
                performance test results without NHTSA testing the vehicle, it is not
                clear how the agency would properly verify compliance and ensure at
                least the same level of performance has been achieved. Furthermore, it
                has always been critical for the agency to establish objective,
                repeatable, and reproducible test procedures for manufacturers and the
                agency to both use ensuring the same test results regardless of who
                executes the test, or when and where the test is executed.
                 As mentioned above under the simulation discussion, the agency
                believes it is important to buy and test new vehicles as produced and
                sold. If documentation is used as a tool in the future, NHTSA would
                continue to focus on real-world testing of actual vehicles being
                operated on public roads. These actual ``on-track'' tests conducted by
                the agency are important to verify compliance but also to help identify
                a manufacturer's certification shortcomings (e.g., suspension design
                changes that inadvertently change the performance of the ESC system, or
                a part replacement that inadvertently changes the performance of a
                brake system) and possible safety related defects; problems that would
                not necessarily be identified through documentation.
                Questions Specific to This Testing Method (General Questions Precede
                This Section)
                 34. How can the documentation-focused approach ensure compliance
                with FMVSS, considering it neither verifies that the vehicles on the
                road match the documentation nor confirms that the vehicles on the road
                comply with the FMVSSs?
                 35. If technical documentation were acceptable for compliance
                verification, how would the manufacturer assure the agency that the
                documentation accurately represents the ADS-DV and that the system is
                 36. Exactly what kind of documentation could be submitted for each
                kind of FMVSS requirement? Provide specific examples with detailed
                explanation of the documentation required.
                F. Use of Surrogate Vehicle With Human Controls
                 Using the surrogate vehicle with human controls approach, the
                vehicle manufacturer would demonstrate that all relevant aspects of the
                surrogate vehicle are identical to those of the ADS-DV without
                traditional manual controls and then complete compliance verification
                using that surrogate vehicle and apply the results to the ADS-DV
                without traditional manual controls.
                 Several commenters suggested that a short-term solution for
                compliance verification testing of ADS-DVs is to certify a manually-
                operated ``sister'' (i.e., surrogate) vehicle that shares the same
                platform, but differs from the ADS-DV because it has manual controls
                included for testing purposes. The Alliance, for example, suggested
                this as an approach to testing FMVSS No. 126. Ford agreed with this
                 Attempting to specify in a FMVSS test procedure that NHTSA will use
                surrogate vehicles in its compliance testing would create several
                challenges. First, if, in lieu of testing an ADS-DV, NHTSA were to test
                a surrogate vehicle, the agency may have difficulty demonstrating that
                such a test establishes the noncompliance of the ADS-DV. Since an ADS-
                DV would be equipped with components that provide the means to perform
                automated driving, a task the conventional surrogate vehicle is either
                not expected to perform or can perform while still including manual
                controls, inherent differences would be expected between the two
                vehicles. The implications of these differences must be understood to
                assess the viability of this approach. The agency would need to attempt
                to develop criteria for identifying suitable surrogates. These criteria
                would need to be universal in that they need to demonstrate equivalence
                for any vehicle, not only for a specific vehicle design. Second, even
                if it were possible to establish criteria for reliably identifying
                suitable surrogate vehicles, if it would nevertheless be more difficult
                for the agency to find suitable surrogates for some ADS-DVs than
                others, the agency might find it difficult to ensure that it could
                treat all ADS-DVs in an equitable manner. Third, the suitable surrogate
                vehicles must be available for sale in the United States.
                Questions Specific to This Testing Method (General Questions Precede
                This Section)
                 37. To what extent could equivalence of the vehicle components used
                for conventional and ADS-DVs be demonstrated to assure that surrogate
                vehicle performance would be indicative of that of a surrogate ADS-DV?
                 38. How can the agency confirm that the maneuver severity performed
                by a surrogate manually-drivable vehicle, during FMVSS compliance
                tests, is equal to that of the subject ADS-DV? For example, how can the
                characterization maneuvers and subsequent scaling factors in the FMVSS
                No. 126 ESC test on the surrogate vehicle be confirmed as equivalent on
                the ADS-DV?
                 39. If results from FMVSS compliance tests of a conventional
                vehicle performed by its manufacturer differ
                [[Page 24447]]
                from the results of NHTSA tests of an equivalent ADS-DV (particularly
                if the conventional vehicle complies with the agency's standards, but
                the ADS-DV does not), can the conflicting results be reconciled? If so,
                VII. Public Participation
                How can I influence NHTSA's thinking on this subject?
                 Your comments will help NHTSA improve this regulatory action. NHTSA
                invites you to provide different views on options NHTSA discusses, new
                approaches the agency has not considered, new data, descriptions of how
                this ANPRM may affect you, or other relevant information.
                 NHTSA welcomes public review of on all aspects of this ANPRM. NHTSA
                will consider the comments and information received in developing its
                eventual proposal for how to remove regulatory barriers to ADS-DVs that
                lack manual controls by updating and modifying current FMVSS. As noted
                thorough this document, we are especially interested in comments that
                focus on how the test methods discussed ensure vehicle safety. Your
                comments will be most effective if you follow the suggestions below:
                 Explain your views and reasoning as clearly as possible.
                 Provide solid evidence and data to support your views.
                 If you estimate potential costs, explain how you arrived
                at that estimate.
                 Tell NHTSA which parts of the ANPRM you support, as well
                as those with which you disagree.
                 Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.
                 Offer specific alternatives.
                 Refer your comments to the specific sections of (or
                questions listed in) the ANPRM.
                How do I prepare and submit comments?
                 Your primary comments should be written in English. To ensure that
                your comments are filed in the correct docket, please include the
                docket number of this document (NHTSA-2019-0036) in your comments.
                 Your primary comments should not be more than 15 pages long (49 CFR
                553.21), however, you may attach additional documents, such as
                supporting data or research, to your primary comments. There is no
                limit on the length of the attachments.
                 Please submit one copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand
                delivery) of your comments, including the attachments, to the docket
                following the instructions given in the ADDRESSES section at the
                beginning of this document. Please note, if you are submitting comments
                electronically as a PDF (Adobe) file, we ask that the documents
                submitted be scanned using the Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
                process, thus allowing NHTSA to search and copy certain portions of
                your submission.
                 Please note that pursuant to the Data Quality Act, in order for
                substantive data to be relied upon and used by the agency, it must meet
                the information quality standards set forth in the Office of Management
                and Budget (OMB) and DOT Data Quality Act guidelines. Accordingly, we
                encourage you to consult the guidelines in preparing your comments.
                DOT's guidelines may be accessed at (last accessed May 22,
                How can I be sure that my comments were received?
                 If you submit comments by hard copy and wish Docket Management to
                notify you upon its receipt of your comments, enclose a self-addressed,
                stamped postcard in the envelope containing your comments. Upon
                receiving your comments, Docket Management will return the postcard by
                mail. If you submit comments electronically, your comments should
                appear automatically in Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0036 on
       If they do not appear within two weeks of posting,
                NHTSA suggests that you call the Docket Management Facility at 202-366-
                How do I submit confidential business information?
                 If you wish to submit any information under a claim of
                confidentiality, you must submit three copies of your complete
                submission, including the information that you claim to be confidential
                business information, to the Office of the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, U.S.
                Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC
                 In addition, you should submit a copy (two copies if submitting by
                mail or hand delivery) from which you have deleted the claimed
                confidential business information to the docket by one of the methods
                given above under ADDRESSES. When you submit a comment containing
                information claimed to be confidential business information, you should
                include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in
                NHTSA's confidential business information regulation (49 CFR part 512).
                Will the agency consider late comments?
                 NHTSA will consider all comments that the docket receives before
                the close of business on the comment closing date indicated in the
                DATES section. To the extent possible, NHTSA will also consider
                comments that the docket receives after that date.
                How can I read the comments submitted by other people?
                 You may read the comments received by the docket at the address
                given in the ADDRESSES section. The hours of the docket are indicated
                above in the same location. You may also read the comments on the
                internet, identified by the docket number at the heading of this
                document, at Please note that, even after the
                comment closing date, NHTSA will continue to file relevant information
                in the docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit
                late comments. Accordingly, NHTSA recommends that you periodically
                check the docket for new material.
                VIII. Rulemaking Analyses
                a. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT Regulatory Policies and
                 Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' (58 FR
                51735, Oct. 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a
                regulatory action is ``significant'' and therefore subject to OMB
                review and to the requirements of the Executive Order.
                b. Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling
                Regulatory Costs)
                 This action is not subject to the requirements of E.O. 13771 (82 FR
                9339, (Feb. 3, 2017)) because it is an advance notice of proposed
                c. Regulatory Flexibility Act
                 Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.,
                no analysis is required for an ANPRM. However, vehicle manufacturers
                and equipment manufacturers are encouraged to comment if they identify
                any aspects of the potential rulemaking that may apply to them.
                d. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
                 NHTSA does not believe that there would be sufficient federalism
                implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism assessment.
                [[Page 24448]]
                e. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
                 With respect to the review of the promulgation of a new regulation,
                section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, ``Civil Justice Reform'' (61 FR
                4729, February 7, 1996) requires that Executive agencies make every
                reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies
                the preemptive effect; (2) clearly specifies the effect on existing
                Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for
                affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction;
                (4) clearly specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately
                defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting
                clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issues by the
                Attorney General. This document is consistent with that requirement.
                f. Paperwork Reduction Act
                 Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), a person is not
                required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency
                unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. There are no
                information collection requirements associated with this ANPRM. Any
                information collection requirements and the associated burdens will be
                discussed in detail once proposed rules have been issued.
                g. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
                 Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement
                Act (NTTAA) requires NHTSA to evaluate and use existing voluntary
                consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless doing so would
                be inconsistent with applicable law (e.g., the statutory provisions
                regarding NHTSA's vehicle safety authority) or otherwise impractical.
                Voluntary consensus standard (e.g., materials specifications, test
                methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are
                developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as
                SAE International. The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress (through
                OMB) with explanations when we decide not to use available and
                applicable voluntary consensus standards. While NHTSA is considering
                options regarding the modification of various FMVSS, it has not yet
                developed specific regulatory requirements, and thus the NTTAA does not
                apply for purposes of this ANPRM.
                h. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
                 The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires agencies to
                prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects
                of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to
                result in the expenditure of State, local, or tribal governments, in
                the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million
                annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). NHTSA has
                determined that this rulemaking action would not result in expenditures
                by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the
                private sector, in excess of $100 million annually.
                i. National Environmental Policy Act
                 NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking action for the purposes of the
                National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has preliminarily
                determined that implementation of this rulemaking action would not have
                any significant impact on the quality of the human environment. The
                agency will consider this further in any future proposed rules.
                j. Plain Language
                 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 require each agency to write all
                documents in plain language. Application of the principles of plain
                language includes consideration of the following questions:
                 Have we organized the material to suit the public's needs?
                 Are the requirements in the document clearly stated?
                 Does the document contain technical language or jargon
                that is not clear?
                 Would a different format (grouping and order of sections,
                use of headings, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand?
                 Would more (but shorter) sections be better?
                 Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or
                 If you have any responses to these questions, please include them
                in your comments on this proposal.
                k. Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN)
                 The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier
                number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of
                Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center
                publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may
                use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document
                to find this action in the Unified Agenda.
                 Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR
                1.95 and 501.5.
                Heidi Renate King,
                Deputy Administrator.
                Appendix A--SAE Levels of Automation
                 To explain these levels of driving automation and put them in
                context with the other levels defined by SAE International, content
                from Table 1 of SAE J3016 \38\ describing the full array of driving
                automation levels is provided here:
                 \38\ See SAE J3016_201806 Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms
                Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles.
                 Narrative definition (i.e., What does the
                 vehicle do, what does the human driver/
                 Level of automation occupant do, and when and where do they do
                Level 0.................... No Automation of driving task: The
                 performance by the driver of the entire
                 DDT, even when enhanced by active safety
                Level 1.................... Driver Assistance: The sustained and ODD-
                 specific execution by a driving automation
                 system of either the lateral or the
                 longitudinal vehicle motion control
                 subtask of the DDT (but not both
                 simultaneously) with the expectation that
                 the driver performs the remainder of the
                Level 2.................... Partial Driving Automation: The sustained
                 and ODD-specific execution by a driving
                 automation system of both the lateral and
                 longitudinal vehicle motion control
                 subtasks of the DDT with the expectation
                 that the driver completes the OEDR subtask
                 and supervises the driving automation
                Level 3.................... Conditional Driving Automation: The
                 sustained and ODD-specific performance by
                 an ADS of the entire DDT with the
                 expectation that the DDT fallback-ready
                 user is receptive to ADS-issued requests
                 to intervene, as well as to DDT
                 performance-relevant system failures in
                 other vehicle systems, and will respond
                Level 4.................... High Driving Automation: The sustained and
                 ODD-specific performance by an ADS of the
                 entire DDT and DDT fallback without any
                 expectation that a user will respond to a
                 request to intervene.
                [[Page 24449]]
                Level 5.................... Full Driving Automation: The sustained and
                 unconditional (i.e., not ODD-specific)
                 performance by an ADS of the entire DDT
                 and DDT fallback without any expectation
                 that a user will respond to a request to
                [FR Doc. 2019-11032 Filed 5-23-19; 4:15 pm]
                 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P