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Federal agencies seek public comment on automated driving systems

A pair of federal transport agencies said they are request public comment to help them craft automated driving regulations.

The advance notice of proposed rulemaking from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated the agencies are seeking to remove unnecessary regulatory burdens to the safe introduction of automated driving systems vehicles.

The agencies formally published the notice in the Federal Register on May 28, and FMCSA said it was accepting public comments until Aug. 26.

"We know that while many of these technologies are still in development, it is critical that we carefully examine how to make federal rules keep up with this advancing technology,” said Raymond Martinez, FMCSA administrator.

FMCSA said it aims to understand how rule changes can account for differences between humans and automated driving systems, while NHTSA is considering how to measure compliance for vehicles without conventional controls, including steering wheels and brake pedals.

“One of the department’s priorities is to prepare for the future by engaging with new technology while addressing legitimate public concerns about safety, security, and privacy, without hampering innovation,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

In October, the Department of Transportation released updated guidance for automated vehicles that stated FMCSA would “no longer assume that the CMV driver is always a human or that a human is necessarily present onboard a commercial vehicle during its operation.”

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