Study to look at automated driving systems, commercial driver engagement

September 21, 2022

Land Line Staff


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing a study to evaluate how drivers engage in Levels 2 and 3 automated driving system-equipped commercial motor vehicles.

The agency invites public comment on the proposed study, which is titled “Human Factors Considerations in Commercial Motor Vehicle Automated Driving Systems.”

The proposed study is intended to examine the effect of drivers being engaged in nondriving secondary tasks, transfer of control, and training on driver behavior in automated driving system-equipped commercial motor vehicles.

About 100 CMV drivers are expected to participate in the study, 50 for each level would be examined. The proposal includes data collection from a series of questionnaires and a driving simulator-focused experiment.

Levels 2 and 3 automated driving

In the Society of Automotive Engineers levels chart for automated driving systems, in Level 2 a driver is in the driver’s seat, supervising steering, braking and acceleration though the driver’s feet are off the pedals and the driver is not steering. In Level 3, drivers are not driving unless the vehicle makes that demand.

The proposed study is intended to evaluate driver readiness to assume control in Level 2 and Level 3 tech-quipped commercial vehicles.

“Lower levels of automated driving system-equipped CMVs present an environment that is ripe for overreliance,” reads the notice in the Federal Register.

It goes on to explain that a Level 2 vehicle supports the driver but the operator is responsible for driving at times.

“At this level, engaging in nondriving secondary tasks can be highly detrimental to driving performance as the driver may not recognize and respond to hazards timely or appropriately,” reads the notice.

With a Level 3-equipped vehicle, the driver takes a more supervisory role. However, “engagement in nondriving secondary tasks may prevent the driver from maintaining situational awareness of the driving environment.”

There are three primary goals with this automated driving system study:

  • Determine the effect of distraction on commercial vehicle drivers of L2 vehicles.
  • Determine the effect of transfer of control on CMV drivers in L3 vehicles
  • Develop and evaluate a training program to decrease the levels of distraction that were identified in commercial vehicle drivers in L2 vehicles and designed to improve the problems with the transfer of control that were identified in L3 vehicles.

Public invited to comment

Comments will be summarized and included in the agency’s report to the Office of Management and Budget.

Comments on the proposed study are due Nov. 21. To do so online, click here or go to and search for docket number FMCSA-2022-0163. LL

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