[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 200 (Friday, October 16, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 62487-62488]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-26294]

[[Page 62487]]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0099]

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard; Automatic Emergency 

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Grant of petition for rulemaking.


SUMMARY: This document grants the petition for rulemaking submitted by 
the Truck Safety Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, Advocates for 
Highway and Auto Safety, and Road Safe America on February 19, 2015, to 
establish a safety standard to require automatic forward collision 
avoidance and mitigation systems on certain heavy vehicles. For several 
years, NHTSA has researched forward collision avoidance and mitigation 
technology on heavy vehicles, including forward collision warning and 
automatic emergency braking systems. The agency will continue to 
conduct research and to evaluate real-world performance of these 
systems through track testing and field operational testing. NHTSA will 
determine whether to issue a rule in the course of the rulemaking 
proceeding, in accordance with statutory criteria.

DATES: October 16, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues, you may call Dr. 
Abigail Morgan in the Office of Crash Avoidance Standards at (202) 366-
1810. For legal issues, you may call Mr. David Jasinski or Ms. Analiese 
Marchesseault in the Office of Chief Counsel at (202) 366-2992. You may 
send mail to these officials at: National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 19, 2015, the Truck Safety 
Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto 
Safety, and Road Safe America (hereon referred to collectively as the 
``petitioners'') submitted a petition to NHTSA. Their petition 
requested that the agency initiate rulemaking to establish a new 
Federal motor vehicle safety standard to require vehicle manufacturers 
to install forward collision avoidance and mitigation (FCAM) systems on 
all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds 
or more. The petitioners claimed that FCAM systems have the potential 
to provide significant safety, economic, and societal benefits.
    On May 4, 2015, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) 
submitted a letter supporting the petition for rulemaking. However, 
CVSA recommended that the mandate for FCAM systems apply to vehicles 
with a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more (rather than 10,000 pounds or 
more) to better conform to existing commercial motor vehicle safety 
    There are a number of terms being used by industry and regulators 
for FCAM technology, including forward collision warning (FCW), crash 
imminent braking (CIB), dynamic brake support (DBS), automatic 
emergency braking (AEB), and collision mitigation braking (CMB). 
Consistent with the terminology used in the petitioners' request, in 
this notice, the FCAM technologies of focus are the systems that 
combine FCW alert signals with CMB automatic braking capability.
    FCAM systems use forward-looking sensors, typically radars and/or 
cameras, to detect vehicles in the roadway. When a rear-end crash is 
imminent, the FCW system warns the driver of the threat. If the driver 
takes no action, such as braking or steering, or if the driver does 
brake but not enough to avoid the crash, a CMB or AEB system may 
automatically apply or supplement the brakes to avoid or mitigate the 
rear-end crash.
    In their petition for rulemaking, the petitioners cited estimated 
safety benefits from a 2012 research study \1\ conducted by the 
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), which 
evaluated the performance and effectiveness of these current and future 
generation systems. They also identified the systems that are 
commercially available. The petitioners believe that mandating 
technology through regulation is the fastest way to ensure the 
potential safety benefits. Additionally, they believe that additional 
safety benefits may be achieved from future FCAM systems that may have 
higher levels of performance than the current systems and that may be 
able to respond to additional crash scenarios other than rear-end 
crashes, such as vehicle-to-pedestrian crashes. Furthermore, the 
petitioners believe that a mandate would cause the system costs to 
decrease due to high production volumes.

    \1\ Woodrooffe, J., et al., Performance Characterization and 
Safety Effectiveness Estimates of Forward Collision Avoidance and 
Mitigation Systems for Medium/Heavy Commercial Vehicles, Report No. 
UMTRI-2011-36, UMTRI (August 2012). Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0067-0001.

    For several years, NHTSA has been conducting research on heavy 
vehicle FCAM technologies. This research includes test track 
evaluations of first generation systems, evaluation of driver-warning 
interface effectiveness, and an ongoing field operational test of 
production systems. Based on this research, the agency agrees with the 
petitioners that FCAM systems have the potential to save lives by 
preventing or reducing the severity of rear-end crashes.
    The industry has indicated that next generation automatic emergency 
braking systems for truck tractors will be commercially available later 
this year and will have improved performance that enables the vehicle 
to warn the driver and automatically brake in response to stationary 
lead vehicles. In addition to the increased performance from the next 
generation systems, industry is also expected to begin production of 
automatic emergency braking systems on air-braked single unit trucks 
with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds in the near future.
    The agency's test experience has been limited to first generation 
production systems on truck tractors and a prototype system on a 
motorcoach, and the agency is aware of a few vehicles with a GVWR 
greater than 10,000 pounds and less than or equal to 26,000 pounds sold 
in the U.S. currently equipped with AEB systems. The agency plans to 
test the next generation systems as they become available, including 
AEB systems that are installed on vehicles with a GVWR greater than 
10,000 pounds and less than or equal to 26,000 pounds. If available, 
NHTSA would consider this additional information in the rulemaking.
    The European Union (EU) Commission Regulation No. 347/2012 requires 
an advanced emergency braking system (AEBS) with forward collision 
warning on most new heavy vehicles, with some exceptions.\2\ The test 
scenarios, vehicle speeds, and performance criteria in EU Commission 
Regulation No. 347/2012 differ from the test criteria that NHTSA 
developed for its light vehicle automatic emergency braking evaluation 
that the agency plans to add to its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), 
which has been the basis for the test criteria used to evaluate heavy 
vehicles. The agency will consider the test criteria required by the 
European regulation, as it

[[Page 62488]]

continues to develop its heavy vehicle test procedures and performance 

    \2\ Commission Regulation (EU) No 347/2012; of 16 April 2012 
implementing Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 of the European Parliament 
and of the Council with respect to type-approval requirements for 
certain categories of motor vehicles with regard to advanced 
emergency braking systems. Available at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:109:0001:0017:EN:PDF.

    Considering the information before the agency, including the 
information referenced in the petition, NHTSA grants the February 19, 
2015 petition in accordance with 49 CFR part 552 and initiates a 
rulemaking proceeding with respect to forward collision avoidance and 
mitigation systems on vehicles with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds. 
The granting of the petition from Truck Safety Coalition, the Center 
for Auto Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and Road Safe 
America does not mean that the agency will issue a final rule. The 
determination of whether to issue a rule is made after study of the 
requested action and the various alternatives in the course of the 
rulemaking proceeding, in accordance with statutory criteria.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30162, 30166, and 
49 CFR part 552; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.

Raymond R. Posten
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2015-26294 Filed 10-15-15; 8:45 am]