FMCSA Goes Full Speed Ahead on Project to Promote Self-Driving Trucks
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is moving full speed ahead on a project to help accelerate the widespread deployment and adoption of self-driving trucks.
In a Federal Register notice issued on Thursday, the FMCSA announced its proceeding on an information collection request (ICR) regarding a project titled “Trucking Fleet Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Managing Mixed Fleets.”
As part of the CONOPS, the FMCSA will conduct a series of public outreach events to promote automated driving systems (ADS) technology.
The Agency indicated participants will be given the chance to get hands-on technology demonstrations, such as in-vehicle demonstrations and closed-course scenarios, as well as the opportunity to meet ADS technology developers and original equipment manufacturers.
Further, these outreach events will be specifically targeted at truck drivers and truck fleet managers.
The FMCSA wants participants in the CONOPS to complete a pre- and post-event survey in order for the Agency to collect “qualitative data” in order to measure if and how perceptions of ADS changed, and to “ensure the CONOPS covers major industry concerns.”
Similar data will also be collected from truck drivers, fleet managers, industry engineers, truck sales personnel, researchers, and State and Federal government personnel before and after attending four roadshows, the Agency said.
The roadshows will coincide with large conferences, such as the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Technology Maintenance Council Annual Meeting, North American Commercial Vehicle Show, SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress, and the Automated Vehicle Symposium.
The FMCSA was remarkably direct when revealing the objective of the CONOPS.
“The introduction of ADS technology on heavy trucks (Class 8 vehicles) will profoundly affect all commerce in the U.S., as the U.S. moves more than 70% of all goods by truck. However, existing stakeholders in the road freight ecosystem (primarily for-hire and private truck fleets, but also shippers, brokers, truck manufacturers, and service and maintenance providers) do not have a clear picture of how they will implement ADS in their daily operations. If ADS technology is to gain traction in the U.S. trucking industry, current stakeholders and new entrants need a rigorous, data driven CONOPS,” the Agency concluded.
Additionally, the Agency said it hopes to collect approximately 2,000 surveys during the project.
The CONOPS proposal is being submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review.
FMCSA Asks For Your Comments
You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) whether the proposed collection is necessary for the FMCSA to perform its functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for the FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information.
The comment period will last 30 days from the time the ICR is published in the Federal Register.
Once published, you can submit your comment by clicking HERE and selecting “Currently under 30-day Review – Open for Public Comments” or by using the search function.