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NCHRP Web-Only Document 253, Vol. 5: Developing the Autonomous Vehicle Action Plan 5 Definitions and Assumptions The following definitions and assumptions were used to guide this research effort. 2.1 Terminology and Definitions Levels of Automation This project adopts the levels of automation as defined in SAE J3016 (SAE International, 2018). For reference, a summary of these levels is provided in Figure 2. Figure 2. SAE J3016 levels of automation.
NCHRP Web-Only Document 253, Vol. 5: Developing the Autonomous Vehicle Action Plan 6 Definitions of C/ADS Commercial Applications Connected vehicles are defined as vehicles equipped for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to- infrastructure (V2I) communications (collectively, V2X) as defined in NHTSA's notice of proposed rulemaking on V2V Communications (Posten & Barrett, 2016) and SAE J2735/J2945 (SAE International, 2016a). Connected vehicles allow for low latency direct communications between road entities (e.g., cars, trucks, intersection controllers, pedestrians) to reduce crashes and accomplish other transportation objectives, while avoiding collection and transmission of personally identifiable information (PII). Traffic agencies can collect traffic flow data from connected vehicles to support their data needs, and traffic agencies can upload data that supports vehicle operations. For instance, Signal Phase and Timing data (available via V2I or âthe cloudâ) can enable vehicles to anticipate signal timing and adjust speed to reduce delay and conserve fuel. Available data can also be used to support level 4â5 ADS-equipped vehicle control in dynamic situations, such as intersection traversals and work zone configurations. In this case, we are primarily interested in connected vehicle applications when used in conjunction with driving automation systems at levels 1â2 and level 3â5 ADS-equipped vehicles. ADS-equipped vehicles are defined in SAE J3016. Conditional driving automation is characterized as a level 3 ADS where the sustained and operational design domain- (ODD)-specific performance of the dynamic driving task (DDT) is completed by the ADS with the assumption that a fallback-ready user is receptive to ADS requests to intervene. Level 3 ADS-equipped vehicles enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain environmental or traffic conditions, monitor for changes in conditions, and provide the driver with sufficiently comfortable transition time when the ADS senses changing conditions that would make its continued operation unsafe. In level 4â5 ADS-equipped vehicles, the ADS performs the DDT while the user is considered a passenger when the ADS is engaged. Automated mobility as a service (A-MaaS) applications are an example of levels 4â5 ADS-equipped vehicles. Current traffic laws were written with the assumption that a human driver is in control of the vehicle. Vehicles equipped with driving automation systems operating at SAE level 2 and below define the human driver as continuing to perform part of the DDT while the driving automation system (longitudinal and/or lateral vehicle motion control) is engaged. For more information and expanded definitions, see Figure 2. ADS-equipped passenger vehicles. Those ADS-equipped vehicles purchased or leased solely for personal use, parking, or sending off to park somewhere else when not in use. This use case will require a number of fundamental changes to the vehicle code to permit deployment, but these changes are critical to the eventual deployment of C/ADS because they overcome the many barriers currently posed by the assumption that a human driver will be in control of a vehicle; this underpins most current vehicle codes. ADS-equipped commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Those ADS-equipped vehicles used for commercial purposes not associated with platooning. Platooning. Platooning is two or more vehicles in line following one another at distances much smaller than human drivers could perform safely. As a result, aerodynamic drag may be decreased, potentially resulting in increased fuel economy. The major interest in platooning is for long-haul trucking. Platooning is enabled by sensor technology and V2V communications. First-generation platooning systems are
NCHRP Web-Only Document 253, Vol. 5: Developing the Autonomous Vehicle Action Plan 7 expected to be level 1, with the ADS controlling the brakes and throttle, and drivers in all vehicles being fully responsible for steering and monitoring the road environment. In the longer term, platooning at higher levels of automation is expected. Platooning is unique in that it requires consideration of following distance in state MVCs. Otherwise, platooning automation aspects would be focused only on level 3 ADS-equipped vehicles and higher, as described above. Automated Mobility as a Service, or A-MaaS, can address both passenger and local freight delivery SAE J3016 levels 4â5 ADS-equipped vehicles. For passengers, A-MaaS is an on-demand, shared, for-hire mobility service offered to the public and utilizing a fleet of level 4 or higher ADS-dedicated vehicle with no expectation that a user will respond to a request to intervene (although the vehicle may be operated by a remote dispatcher). The same applies generally to last mile delivery of freight (parcels); however, the vehicle may be optimized for parcels and not be designed to carry people. Definition of Harmonization For purposes of this document, harmonization is defined as the process of minimizing redundant or conflicting standards which may have evolved independently (Pelkmans, 1987). Harmonization can create consistency of laws, regulations, standards, and practices, so that the same rules will apply across jurisdictional boarders. Regulatory harmonization ensures that business rules are followed across borders (Black's Law Dictionary Free Online Legal Dictionary 2nd Ed). Harmonization is not uncommon across the states in the motor vehicle and driver licensing areas and states have worked over the years to improve state-to-state harmonization or at a minimum reciprocity. Harmonization is also extremely difficult to achieve in the driver license and motor vehicle areas based on the fact that laws and regulations governing these areasâunless federally mandatedâare set based on state legislative preference and state agency/administration direction. In the motor vehicle and driver license areas, states have attempted to achieve best practices or work with model laws to best achieve harmonization. 2.2 Assumptions The following assumptions were considered in developing the progressions of priorities needed for the legal and/or regulatory changes outlined in this report. While these assumptions are expected to hold true, regardless of whether they do or not, state policy makers will still need to consider their impact on legal modifications and should consider them in advancing any legislative or regulatory change. Assumption 1 NHTSAâs Role and Federal Preemption in Key Areas. It is assumed that NHTSAâs delegation of duties and authorities between the federal government and the states will not change. NHTSA notes that under current law, manufacturers bear the responsibility to self-certify that the vehicles they manufacture for use on public roadways comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). If a vehicle is compliant within this framework and maintains a conventional vehicle design, there is currently no specific federal legal barrier to a C/ADS being offered for sale or for commercial mobility operations. NHTSAâs Best Practices for State Legislatures (See A Vision for Safety 2.0, NHTSA, 2017) confirms that the states retain their traditional responsibilities for driver licensing (perhaps only until the vehicle is âthe driver),
NCHRP Web-Only Document 253, Vol. 5: Developing the Autonomous Vehicle Action Plan 8 vehicle licensing and registration, traffic laws and enforcement, and motor vehicle insurance and liability regimes. It is assumed that for harmonization reasons, NHTSA will specifically retain FMVSS settings and manufacturer/technology company vehicle and equipment standards. As the trade association Global Automakers have pointed out, the âprimary advantage for federal standards related to the design and performance of motor vehicles is to allow manufacturers to design, build and sell one vehicle across all 50 statesâ (Global Automakers, 2017). States and their associations need to keep this assumption in mind and remain aware of the changing federal landscape. Associations like the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) will likely benefit from continuing their close coordination with NHTSA and NHTSA as well would benefit from continuing to engage AAMVA in assisting the states. Assumption 2 Commercial Driver License Standards and Interstate Motor Carrier Preemption. It is assumed that the FMCSA will promulgate standards in both of these areas. With the importance of harmonization across state lines and the need for one industry standard and state-to-state uniformity, jurisdictional stakeholders indicated that current standards as codified in the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and accompanying regulations for states would be helpful if updated by FMCSA in consultation with the states (Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 1986). States, however, would want to review their current laws and regulations that codify these federal requirements and consider modifications that would allow for the easy incorporation of new provisions. This is an area of legal review that should not be overlooked. Many state federal codification statutes are specific to a particular law reference or a particular federal regulation. Some even codify the exact wording of the federal regulation. The key in this evolving environment is to review current federal preemptive statutes and consider how they may need to be changed in anticipation of changes at the federal level that govern these statutes. Assumption 3 Focus on Deployment versus Testing. Further, with the issuance of the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy (NHTSA, 2016) and the subsequent publication, A Vision for Safety 2.0 (NHTSA, 2017), along with the extensive body of current and anticipated laws, regulations, and introduced legislation, the focus of this roadmap document is primarily on driving automation system-equipped and C/ADS-equipped vehicle deployment rather than on testing. While this document does highlight legal requirements associated with both the deployment and testing of C/ADS-equipped vehicles, the most likely application of this resource document is deployment efforts. The varied goals associated with testing in states tend to drive testing legislation, so this project would not be as useful to the end users if the focus was primarily on testing. Assumption 4 Timeline for Deployment. The timeline for deployment can vary widely based on individualsâ perspectives, vehicle level of autonomy, and anticipated use case. Taking these factors into consideration, a timeline for deployment reflecting anticipated commercial availability was developed with panel and expert input.
NCHRP Web-Only Document 253, Vol. 5: Developing the Autonomous Vehicle Action Plan 9 While it may not be possible to set a precise date when state MVCs and regulations will require certain modifications, it is clear that states need to start planning for deployment now. The recommended priorities for modification of laws and regulations have been developed to coincide with this timeline and have been grouped according to the short-term (2018â2020), mid-term (2021â2025), and long-term (2026 and beyond; Figure 3). This timeline is provided to help state policymakers recognize that the time frame for passenger level 4â5 ADS-equipped vehicles operating in unconstrained environments is likely to be longer, but also that C/ADS-equipped vehicle deployment is unlikely to be linear. What the timeline indicates is that any laws that states need to modify for level 1 truck platooning need to take place immediately. Some states have begun this effort by modifying (as necessary) following distance laws, definitions for platoons, and other impacting constraints. However, states should also recognize that a limited number of level 3 ADS- equipped vehicles are already on the market, with significant market penetration expected by 2020. Additionally, level 4 ADS-equipped A-MaaS shuttles in constrained environments are expected to be in operation in increasing numbers by 2020. SAE J3016 level 1 driving automation system-equipped platooning commercial vehicles are anticipated to be market-ready by 2020 as well. Therefore, laws cannot be modified simply for one level of C/ADS or their expected progression but should be examined holistically with any timeline only as a point of possible reference. While states should not overreact to this timeline or any of the other timelines expressed by technology companies, manufacturers, or other private interests, efforts to modify laws should be underway or Figure 3. Anticipated timeline for C/ADS deployment.
NCHRP Web-Only Document 253, Vol. 5: Developing the Autonomous Vehicle Action Plan 10 planned for the immediate and near term. Having the appropriate legislative and legal framework in place, preferably one that permits easy adaptation, will facilitate state efforts to navigate the rapid pace of change and will allow OEMs and technology providers to develop, refine, and apply the technology appropriately, safely, and effectively. This timeline is likely to be influenced by events that occur surrounding the safety of C/ADS. For example, recent crashes involving Advanced Driver Assistance System- and ADS-equipped vehicles (Boudette, 2018; Levin and Carrie, 2018) may result in this timeline being extended or at the very minimum result in states exercising even more caution as a result of increased government and public scrutiny regarding the use and deployment of these technologies.