Self-Driving Tech Maker Asks FMCSA for Hours of Service Exemption for its Customers

Washington D.C. – A self-driving tech maker is asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to grant an exemption from the federal hours of service (HOS) regulations for its customers.

In a newly filed request, Pronto ai is asking FMCSA on behalf of its interstate motor carrier 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.

Currently, HOS regulations only allow a trucker to drive 11 hours within a 14 hour daily on duty period.

Pronto ai asserts that drivers operating trucks equipped with its Copilot system along with SmartDrive’s in-cab camera system will “greatly mitigate the risks of driver distraction and inattentiveness and assist the driver in maintaining safe operations.”

Thus, the tech company claims “a distinctive combination of advanced safety technologies would reduce physical and mental stress for the driver, thereby allowing a modest increase in certain HOS parameters.”




 

While Pronto ai’s Copilot system is a self-driving technology which controls primary functions such as steering, accelerating, and braking, the company seeks to reassure the Agency about exactly how a driver operating under such an exemption would use its system.

“A driver operating under the exemption would be ‘hands on’ and in complete control of the vehicle at all times,” the request states.


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The exemption request also notes it “does not involve cumulative fatigue because it does not request exemption from required rest breaks, the requirement for 10 hours off duty between duty periods, or the 60/70 hour rule.”

Further, Pronto ai argues it should be granted the exemption 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.




 

The request states that, if granted, the exemption would “provide a meaningful operational incentive for investment in these technologies, which will also help overcome some driver resistance to using ADAS and video-based onboard safety systems, especially driver-facing cameras.”

Read the entire exemption request HERE.

 


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