[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 53 (Friday, March 18, 2016)]
[Pages 14934-14936]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06143]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0036]

Guidelines for the Safe Deployment and Operation of Automated 
Vehicle Safety Technologies

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

ACTION: Announcement of public meeting.


SUMMARY: NHTSA is announcing a public meeting to seek input on planned 
guidelines for the safe deployment and operation of automated vehicles. 
The intent of the operational guidance is to encourage innovative and 
safe deployment of automated vehicle technologies.
    At this meeting, NHTSA is seeking public input on those aspects of 
automated vehicle (AV) systems that would benefit from operational 
guidelines. For example, of high importance to the Agency is 
information on the roadway scenarios and operational environments 
highly automated vehicles will need to address and the associated 
design and evaluation processes and methods needed to ensure that AV 
systems can detect and appropriately react to these scenarios such that 
a high level of safety is assured when these systems are deployed on US 
    Also of interest would be input on aspects of automated vehicle 
technology that may not be suitable or ready for guidelines. For these 
areas, information would be useful on alternative approaches to assure 

DATES: NHTSA will hold the public meeting on April 8, 2016, in

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Washington, DC. The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. and continue until 
4:00 p.m., local time. Check-in (through security) will begin at 8 a.m. 
(Note: A second public meeting will be held on the West Coast 
(California), and details for that meeting will be announced in a 
separate Federal Register (FR) Notice.)

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor Atrium, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. This facility is accessible to 
individuals with disabilities. The meeting will also be webcast live, 
and a link to the actual webcast will be available through http://www.nhtsa.gov/Research/Crash+Avoidance/Automated+Vehicles.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about the public 
meeting, please contact us at [email protected].
    Registration is necessary for all attendees. Attendees should 
register at http://goo.gl/forms/l8z3HVM6hw by April 1, 2016. Please 
provide name and affiliation, indicate if you wish to offer technical 
remarks, and please indicate whether you require accommodations such as 
a sign language interpreter. Space is limited, so advanced registration 
is highly encouraged.
    Although attendees will be given the opportunity to offer technical 
remarks, there will not be time for attendees to make audio-visual 
presentations during the meeting. Note: We may not be able to 
accommodate all attendees who wish to make oral remarks. Should it be 
necessary to cancel the meeting due to inclement weather or other 
emergency, NHTSA will take all available measures to notify registered 
    NHTSA will conduct the public meeting informally, and technical 
rules of evidence will not apply. We will arrange for a written 
transcript of the meeting and keep the official record open for 30 days 
after the meeting to allow submission of supplemental information. You 
may make arrangements for copies of the transcripts directly with the 
court reporter, and the transcript will also be posted in the docket 
when it becomes available.
    Written Comments: Written statements and supporting information 
submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same 
weight as oral comments and supporting information presented at the 
public meeting. Please submit all written comments no later than May 9, 
2016, by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
     Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001, between 
9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 202-366-1767.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number. Note that all comments received will be posted without 
change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act discussion below.
    Docket: For access to the docket go to http://www.regulations.gov 
at any time or to 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Telephone: 202-366-
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78), or you may visit 
    Confidential Business Information: If you wish to submit any 
information under a claim of confidentiality, you should submit three 
copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim 
to be confidential business information to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at 
the address given under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, 
you should submit two copies, from which you have deleted the claimed 
confidential business information, to Docket Management at the address 
given above. When you send a comment containing information claimed to 
be confidential business information, you should submit a cover letter 
setting forth the information specified in our confidential business 
information regulation (49 CFR part 512).



    DOT recently announced a series of actions to remove potential 
roadblocks to the integration of innovative automotive technology. As 
part of this effort, several milestones were announced for 2016, 
including development of guidance on the safe deployment and operation 
of automated vehicles.

Draft Agenda

09:00-12:00--Morning Public Meeting Session
12:00-13:00--Lunch Break
13:00-16:00--Afternoon Public Meeting Session

Public Meeting Topics

    NHTSA is seeking input on the following topics during the morning 
and afternoon sessions of the meeting.
    1. Evaluation and testing of scenarios the AV system should detect 
and correctly operate in: Within the AV system's operating envelope, 
consider how to identify the scenarios that could be encountered by the 
AV system (e.g., behavioral competencies/normal driving, pre-crash 
scenarios, etc.) and what design and evaluation (testing) processes and 
methods are needed to ensure that the vehicle can detect and 
appropriately react to these scenarios. Consider whether third party 
testing is appropriate for validating test results.
    2. Detection and communication of operational boundaries: If there 
are limitations on where AV technology will operate--what methods 
should the AV technology use to sense when it is reaching the 
operational domain limit and how should that be communicated to the 
    3. Environmental operation and sensing: Consider what environmental 
conditions AV systems will likely operate in. For environmental 
conditions in which AV systems are not designed to operate, discuss 
methods used to detect these conditions.
    4. Driver transitioning to/from AV operating mode: For AV systems 
that rely on transferring vehicle operation back to the driver, discuss 
approaches to (a) ensuring safe transitioning back to a fully capable 
non-impaired driver (e.g., geo-fencing, adverse weather) and (b) how 
non optimal driver behavior will be addressed by the AV system (e.g., 
decision errors, erratic behavior, driver impairment.)
    5. Data: Consider data recording capabilities of system(s) 
necessary to monitor the correct operation of the AV system, and what 
are appropriate triggers (crash, near crash, etc.) to determine system 
operational status or possible malfunction of the system. Also consider 
how recorded data could be

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accessed and by whom. During the testing phase, consider what data 
should be made public for further analysis and understanding.
    6. Crash avoidance capability: Consider the capabilities of AV 
systems with respect to detecting roadway hazards (other vehicles, 
pedestrians, animals, etc.) such that common crash scenarios involving 
these hazards (control loss, crossing paths head-on, etc.) can be 
detected and either avoided or mitigated.
    7. Electronics systems safety: Consider methods and potential 
documentation that could be produced with respect to functional safety 
and cybersecurity.
    8. Non-passenger AVs: Consider differences between AVs designed for 
delivery of goods and products that are not intended to have a human 
operator or potentially even human passengers.
    9. Aspects of AV technology that may not be suitable or ready for 
guidelines. For these areas, information would be useful on alternative 
approaches to assure safety.
    10. Identification of industry voluntary standards, best practices, 
etc., related to automated vehicle operation.
    11. Information AV's may need to communicate to pedestrians and 
other vehicles (manual or automated) just as a driver would. Consider 
situations such as pedestrians crossing a travel lane in a parking lot 
and how this communication should be accomplished.
    12. Other topics needed for operational guidance: Other topics that 
would be beneficial to address in an operational guidance document to 
facilitate innovation and safe deployment of these systems on public 

    Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated by 49 CFR 
Nathaniel Beuse,
Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety Research.
[FR Doc. 2016-06143 Filed 3-17-16; 8:45 am]