The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Plans to Release Proposal on Safe Deployment of Automated Trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is set to release a proposal aimed at ensuring the safe integration of commercial motor vehicles with autonomous driving systems. The proposal, expected to be released before the end of the year, will prioritize safety and security while promoting innovation and consistency in regulation.

In February, FMCSA released a supplemental advance notice of proposed rulemaking to gather feedback from the industry on automated driving systems. The notice sought feedback on topics including notification by motor carriers operating autonomous vehicles, oversight for remote assistants, and vehicle inspection and maintenance.

FMCSA received approximately 180 comments on the notice, and this feedback will be used to develop the forthcoming proposal. However, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) warned against premature deployment of the technology, emphasizing the potential risks and impact on the trucking industry and workforce.

Congress is also closely following the development of autonomous trucks and its implications for highway safety and industry. In a House hearing held in September, witnesses highlighted the need for caution and prudence in the deployment of autonomous vehicles, citing recent crashes and incidents where autonomous vehicles obstructed emergency response.

Overall, the FMCSA’s proposal aims to strike a balance between safety, innovation, and industry interests. The forthcoming regulations will likely shape the future deployment of autonomous trucking technologies and their impact on the economy and professional truck drivers.

– U.S. Department of Transportation’s September 2023 Significant Rulemaking Report
– Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)
– House Highway and Transit Subcommittee hearing