FMCSA Urged to Reject “Insane,” “Wrong,” and “Unfair” Self-Driving Truck Request
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently considering an hours of service (HOS) exemption request truckers are calling “absolutely insane,” “wrong,” and “unfair.”
If you don’t regularly follow Transportation Nation Network (TNN) then it’s likely you haven’t heard much about a newly filed application by a self-driving technology maker seeking an HOS exemption for its motor carrier customers.
Pronto ai is asking the FMCSA on behalf of its customers to grant a renewable five-year exemption from HOS rules to allow for an additional two hours of daily driving time and an extension of the daily on duty clock by one hour.
Specifically, Pronto ai argues its advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), Copilot, in conjunction with the SmartDrive Video Safety Program, will allow truckers to safely drive up to 13 hours during a period of 15 consecutive on duty hours because the technology will “greatly mitigate the risks of driver distraction and inattentiveness and assist the driver in maintaining safe operations.”
Currently, HOS regulations only allow a trucker to drive 11 hours within a 14 hour daily on duty period.
The application argues that a driver operating a truck equipped with these technologies will remain “hands on and in complete control of the vehicle at all times,” but will experience a reduction in physical and mental stress which will allow for a “modest increase in certain HOS parameters.”
That’s not all though.
Pronto ai argues its request should be granted based on the Agency’s own stated objectives to encourage the investment in ADAS technologies as well as widespread industry adoption of such safety systems.
READ more about the request HERE.
Truckers Urge the FMCSA to Say “NO!”
A review of the docket reveals more than 170 public comments have been filed so far.
Expressing a host of concerns relating to safety, loss of jobs, and providing an unfair competitive advantage to carriers that would be able to afford the costly technology, truckers’ comments are overwhelming against the granting of Pronto ai’s request.
We thought we would share a few with you.
Allowing this unfair exemption to be granted is in all essence the opposite of what you are supposed to be doing. It will make the highways more dangerous and give the AI companies a unfair advantage over traditional drivers. Please don’t grant this exemption, its too vague and putting the American peoples safety on the highway at risk. I cannot and will not support this exemption. – Brian Adams, Farmington, MO
This is absolutely insane! Stop considering this! AI is too far from being considered for replacing humans, period! There are too many trucks on the road now. This is about as unAmerican as one can get. We need training standards set in this industry, not AI. – Shawn Link, Grand Haven, MI
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This is an abomination [to] the trucking industry. This is in no way fair to the small carriers who represent 90% of our industry. It will be unsafe and hazardous to the American public at large. Please do not allow this exemption. Please protect our trucking industry and American lives. Do not allow corporate greed to endanger the highways of America. We need [to] focus on the current HOS regulation instead of allowing yet another exemption to the ones already in place. – Katrina Carlton, Shelbyville, TN
As stated in their application for exemption a truck that is equipped would fall under the HOS exemption yet a driver must be at the wheel ready at a moments notice to take control in case of an emergency. The average reaction time of an alert driver already in control of a vehicle is greater that 2 seconds now add an additional 3 seconds for a driver that is not as attentive to disengage the automated system diagnos the immediate hazard and begin to react as the first 2 seconds were just to react to an alarm indicating an immediate problem. So five seconds or nearly 1/10th of a mile is how far the truck will travel before any reaction has begun to occur. – Elizabeth Williams
This is a travesty for the truck drivers who have put in the blood, sweat and tears just to have it snatched away because of autonomy! I say NO! – Brian Gilliam
Still Time to Comment
If you desire to make a comment, time is running out.
Unless there is an extension, the public comment period will close on May 20.
Under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), the FMCSA must make a determination whether or not to grant the exemption within 180 days from the time it is filed.
Therefore, it is likely the Agency will issue its decision no later than mid-October.
Click HERE to visit the docket and make your comment.