NHTSA issues proposal to modernize occupant safety standards for automated driving

The proposal is part of an effort to remove barriers to innovative vehicle designs

March 18, 2020
autonomous driving systems

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this week issued a proposal to modernize numerous Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and clarify ambiguities in current occupant protection standards for vehicles equipped with automated driving systems that are designed without traditional manual controls. 

According to NHTSA, the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeks to adapt safety requirements to vehicles with ADS that lack traditional manual controls by revising the requirements and test procedures to account for the removal of manually operated driving controls.  For example, the NPRM proposes applying frontal passenger protection requirements to the traditional driver seating position when a steering wheel is not present, and clarifies the applicability of some occupant protection standards to vehicles with no occupant compartment, such as occupant-less delivery vehicles.

“With more than 90% of serious crashes caused by driver error, it’s vital that we remove unnecessary barriers to technology that could help save lives,” NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens said in a statement. “We do not want regulations enacted long before the development of automated technologies to present an unintended and unnecessary barrier against innovation and improved highway safety.”  

The proposal would not change existing occupant protection requirements for traditional vehicles with manual controls. 

NHTSA says its proposal is an historic first step in its efforts to remove unnecessary and unintended barriers to innovative vehicle designs. This proposal is one of a series of regulatory actions that NHTSA is considering to further modernize vehicle standards for new technologies. 

--------

SOURCE: NHTSA

Related Articles

Minnesota DOT launches automated shuttle project in Rochester
Image: Minnesota DOT
Two low-speed, driverless, electric, multi-passenger shuttles called the Med City Mover are now available for free public rides in downtown Rochester…
October 01, 2021
transit with AV technology
Image: Stantec
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has selected Stantec to design and build Phase 1 of the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) Program,…
September 15, 2021
The state of Michigan today announced a partnership with the Ontario government to advance automotive and mobility technologies across the border.…
August 18, 2021
The deployment of the nation’s largest fleet of low-speed, autonomous electric shuttles launched this week in multiple cities across Colorado. The…
August 12, 2021
expand_less