Automated driving systems subject of FMCSA survey

December 2020/January 2021

Mark Schremmer

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The FMCSA has proposed a survey designed to collect baseline opinions of automated driving systems before and after hands-on demonstrations with the technology.

A notice of the information collection request was released Nov. 3. The proposal, titled “Trucking Fleet Concept of Operations for Managing Mixed Fleets,” would assess the self-reports of about 2,000 respondents, including fleet managers, commercial motor vehicle sales personnel, state and federal government workers, industry engineers, researchers, and commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Comments can be made through Jan. 4 at the Regulations.gov website by entering Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0203.

“Although ADS-equipped trucks hold the promise of increased safety, productivity and efficiency, it is not clear how these vehicles should be integrated into fleet operations with conventional trucks for mixed-fleet operations,” the FMCSA notice stated.

“The introduction of ADS technology on heavy trucks will profoundly affect all commerce in the United States, as the U.S. moves more than 70% of all goods by trucks. However, existing stakeholders in the road freight ecosystem do not have a clear picture of how they will implement ADS in their daily operations.”

According to the notice, data will be collected from commercial motor vehicle drivers, fleet managers, industry engineers, sales personnel, researchers, and state and federal government workers at four roadshows. The four roadshows will coincide with the Technology Maintenance Council annual meeting, North American Commercial Vehicle Show, the SAE COMVEC Digital Summit, and the Automated Vehicle Symposium.

The survey respondents will answer a questionnaire about ADS technologies before the roadshows and then will be asked again to see if their opinions changed after the roadshow demonstrations.

OOIDA has urged regulators to be cautious regarding the implementation of automated technology. In response to FMCSA’s 2019 advance notice of proposed rulemaking titled “Safe Integration of Automated Driving Systems – Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicles,” OOIDA wrote that it hopes regulators won’t put on “blinders and push for more technology as the answer to the trucking industry’s problems.” LL

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.