[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 12 (Thursday, January 18, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2719-2721]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00784]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

[Docket no. FHWA-2017-0049]


Automated Driving Systems

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Request for Information (RFI).

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SUMMARY: Automated Driving Systems (ADS) are increasingly being tested 
and introduced onto the public roadways. The FHWA is interested in 
hearing from the public, including stakeholders (e.g., State and local 
agencies, vehicle manufacturing industry, road hardware and intelligent 
transportation systems industry, related associations, transportation 
advocates, ADS hardware and software platform developers, etc.), on a 
range of issues related to assessing the infrastructure requirements 
and standards that may be necessary for enabling safe and efficient 
operations of ADS.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 5, 2018.

ADDRESSES: 
    To ensure that you do not duplicate your docket submissions, please 
submit all comments by only one of the following means:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-
0001.
     Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is (202) 366-
9329.
     Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket 
number at the beginning of your comments. All comments received will be 
posted without change to http://

[[Page 2720]]

www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about this notice, 
contact Martin C. Knopp, Associate Administrator for Operations, 
Federal Highway Administration, (202) 366-9210, or via email at 
[email protected]; for legal questions: Mr. William Winne, Office of 
the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-1397, or via email at 
[email protected]dot.gov; 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590. 
Business hours for FHWA are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access and Filing

    A copy of this document is available for download and public 
inspection under the docket number noted above at the Federal 
eRulemaking portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. You may also submit 
or retrieve comments online through the Federal eRulemaking portal. The 
website is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. Electronic 
submission and retrieval help and guidelines are available under the 
help section of the website.
    An electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded from 
Office of the Federal Register's home page at: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register and the Government Publishing Office's web page at: 
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ fdsys/. Late comments will be considered to the 
extent practicable.

Background

    Automated Driving Systems are increasingly being tested and 
introduced onto the public roadways. Many road owners and operators are 
trying to determine whether, and which, modifications or enhancements 
to the infrastructure are needed to eliminate barriers to ADS 
technology or to further accelerate its adoption, as well as to ensure 
highway safety. Some vehicle manufacturers have expressed an interest 
in greater uniformity of lane markings, signage, and other traffic 
control devices as being helpful for ADS operation. Infrastructure 
providers have expressed an interest in understanding which traffic 
control device materials and other characteristics present challenges 
for ADS, specifically the machine vision technologies' ability to 
interpret some roadway markings over others.
    The FHWA is interested in hearing from the public, including 
stakeholders (e.g., State and local agencies, vehicle manufacturing 
industry, road hardware and intelligent transportation systems 
industry, related associations, transportation advocates, ADS hardware 
and software platform developers, etc.), on a range of issues related 
to assessing the infrastructure requirements, ADS-infrastructure 
interface standards and operating practices that may be necessary for 
enabling safe and efficient operations of ADS. The FHWA invites the 
public to provide comments to inform the development of an agency 
strategy on ADS.
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently 
released the ``Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety'' 
document. It replaces the 2016 Federal Automated Vehicles Policy. This 
new document focuses on two sections: Voluntary guidance for ADS and 
technical assistance to States. The FHWA aims to complement NHTSA's 
guidance and will continue to coordinate across the U.S. Department of 
Transportation in its automation activities. For information about the 
recent guidance, please visit the Department's website at: 
www.transportation.gov/av.
    The FHWA seeks information directly from the public and 
stakeholders to better understand FHWA's role in automation and inform 
future Agency research and activities. In addition, FHWA seeks comments 
more broadly on planning, development, maintenance, and operations of 
the roadway infrastructure necessary for supporting ADS, including any 
information detailing the costs associated with implementation.
    Comments are requested on the following questions:
    1. What roadway characteristics are important for influencing the 
safety, efficiency, and performance of ADS? Are there certain physical 
infrastructure elements (e.g., lane markings, signage, signals, etc.) 
that are necessary for ADS? If so, what current challenges exist for 
ADS to interpret them? Are these characteristics important for all 
levels of automation, or only specific levels? (For levels of 
automation, see https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/13069a-ads2.0_090617_v9a_tag.pdf, page #4)
    2. What challenges do non-uniform traffic control devices present 
for ADS technologies and how does this affect the costs of ADS systems?
    3. How does the state of good repair (e.g., pavement and road 
markings quality) impact ADS, including technology or safety costs, if 
at all?
    4. How should FHWA engage with industry and automation technology 
developers to understand potential infrastructure requirements? Are 
there specific issues that FHWA should engage with industry directly?
    5. What is the role of digital infrastructure and data in enabling 
needed information exchange between ADS and roadside infrastructure? 
What types of data transmission between ADS and roadside infrastructure 
could enhance safe and efficient ADS operations? What type of 
infrastructure and operations data, if available, would help accelerate 
safe and efficient deployment of the ADS on our Nation's public 
roadways? How might the interface between ADS and digital 
infrastructure best be defined to facilitate nationwide 
interoperability while still maximizing flexibility and cost 
effectiveness for ADS technology developers and transportation agencies 
and minimizing threats to cybersecurity or privacy?
    6. What concerns do State and local agencies have regarding 
infrastructure investment and planning for ADS, given the level of 
uncertainty around the timing and development of this technology? How 
should FHWA engage with its State and local partners as they consider 
impacts on infrastructure, transportation funding, finance, and 
revenue? Are changes to any of the programs that comprise the Federal-
aid Highway Program needed to enable State and local agencies to more 
effectively make infrastructure investments to support deployment of 
ADS?
    7. Are there existing activities and research in the area of 
assessing infrastructure-ADS interface needs and/or associated 
standards? What is the current thinking on where potential revisions 
may be necessary? How should FHWA work with existing research partners 
(e.g., American Association of State Highway and Transportation 
Officials, Transportation Research Board, etc.) in sharing research 
results and information?
    8. What are the priority issues that road owners and operators need 
to consider in terms of infrastructure requirements, modifications, 
investment, and planning, to accommodate integration of ADS and to 
derive maximum system efficiency benefits from ADS additional 
capabilities?
    9. What variable information or data would ADS benefit from 
obtaining and how should that data be best obtained? Examples might 
include information about zone locations, incidents, special event 
routing, bottleneck locations, weather conditions, and speed 
recommendations.
    10. What issues do road owners and operators need to consider in 
terms of

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infrastructure modifications and traffic operations as they encounter a 
mixed vehicle fleet (e.g., fully-automated, partially-automated, and 
non-automated; cooperative and unconnected) during the transition 
period to a potentially fully automated fleet? What are likely the most 
significant impacts of ADS on other motorized and non-motorized users 
of public roadways? What plans do stakeholders have to address these 
impacts, and are there possible roles for road owners and operators to 
support the interaction of ADS with those users through infrastructure 
changes or operational strategies?

    Issued: January 10, 2018.
Brandye L. Hendrickson,
Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2018-00784 Filed 1-17-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P