Federal Automated Vehicles Policy

Accelerating the Next Revolution
in Roadway Safety

Introductory Message

Secretary Anthony R. Foxx, U.S. Department of Transportation

Technology in transportation is not new. In fact, the airplane, the automobile, the train and the horse-drawn carriage all introduced new opportunities and new complications to the safe movement of people and goods.

As the digital era increasingly reaches deeper into transportation, our task at the U.S. Department of Transportation is not only to keep pace, but to ensure public safety while establishing a strong foundation such that the rules of the road can be known, understood, and responded to by industry and the public. The self-driving car raises more possibilities and more questions than perhaps any other transportation innovation under present discussion. That is as it should be. Possessing the potential to uproot personal mobility as we know it, to make it safer and even more ubiquitous than conventional automobiles and perhaps even more efficient, self-driving cars have become the archetype of our future transportation. Still, important concerns emerge. Will they fully replace the human driver? What ethical judgments will they be called upon to make? What socioeconomic impacts flow from such a dramatic change? Will they disrupt the nature of privacy and security?

Many of these larger questions will require longer and more thorough dialogue with government, industry, academia and, most importantly, the public.

As the Department charged with protecting the traveling public, we recognize three realities that necessitate this guidance. First, the rise of new technology is inevitable. Second, we will achieve more significant safety improvements by establishing an approach that translates our knowledge and aspirations into early guidance. Third, as this area evolves, the "unknowns" of today will become "knowns" tomorrow. We do not intend to write the final word on highly automated vehicles here. Rather, we intend to establish a foundation and a framework upon which future Agency action will occur.

To do so, we have consulted with industry leaders, experts in the field, State government, the traveling public and safety advocates, among others. They have offered their input as we have asked them to share what they know. We thank them and recognize that, as this is a constantly changing area, all of us will continue to evolve.

In addition to formally seeking public comment on this Policy, we also intend to conduct significant public outreach to seek input on our approach. We expect vigorous input and welcome it. Such feedback will inform our next update to this Policy, which we anticipate will be issued within one year and sooner if necessary and appropriate. We very much look forward to the dialogues that will emerge in the coming weeks and months and thank you in advance for helping us.

Federal Automated Vehicles Policy PDF

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For the last 50 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has been committed to saving lives and improving safety and efficiency in every way Americans move—by planes, trains, automobiles, bicycles, foot, and more. DOT, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has carried out that mission on U.S. roadways in part by consistently embracing new technologies that make driving, riding, biking, and walking safer. Twentieth century automobile technologies (such as seat belts, air bags, child seats, and antilock brakes)—developed in the private sector and brought to the nation's driving public through NHTSA's safety programs and regulatory authority—are responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives.1

Today, the automobile industry is on the cusp of a technological transformation that holds promise to catalyze an unprecedented advance in safety on U.S. roads and highways. The development of advanced automated vehicle safety technologies, including fully self-driving cars, may prove to be the greatest personal transportation revolution since the popularization of the personal automobile nearly a century ago.

For DOT, the excitement around highly automated vehicles (HAVs) starts with safety. Two numbers exemplify the need. First, 35,092 people died on U.S. roadways in 2015 alone. Second, 94 percent of crashes can be tied to a human choice or error.2 An important promise of HAVs is to address and mitigate that overwhelming majority of crashes. Whether through technology that corrects for human mistakes, or through technology that takes over the full driving responsibility, automated driving innovations could dramatically decrease the number of crashes tied to human choices and behavior. HAVs also hold a learning advantage over humans. While a human driver may repeat the same mistakes as millions before them, an HAV can benefit from the data and experience drawn from thousands of other vehicles on the road. DOT is also encouraged about the potential for HAV systems to use other complementary sensor technologies such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) capabilities to improve system performance. These sensor technologies have their own potential to reduce the number and severity of crashes, and the inclusion of V2V and V2I capabilities could augment the safety and performance of HAV systems.

The benefits don't stop with safety. Innovations have the potential to transform personal mobility and open doors to people and communities—people with disabilities, aging populations, communities where car ownership is prohibitively expensive, or those who prefer not to drive or own a car—that today have limited or impractical options. Cities will reconsider how space is utilized and how public transit is provided. Infrastructure capacity could be increased without pouring a single new truck load of concrete. HAVs may also have the potential to save energy and reduce air pollution from transportation through efficiency and by supporting vehicle electrification.

Recognizing this great potential, this Policy sets out an ambitious approach to accelerate the HAV revolution. The remarkable speed with which increasingly complex HAVs are evolving challenges DOT to take new approaches that ensure these technologies are safely introduced (i.e., do not introduce significant new safety risks), provide safety benefits today, and achieve their full safety potential in the future. To meet this challenge, we must rapidly build our expertise and knowledge to keep pace with developments, expand our regulatory capability, and increase our speed of execution.

This Policy is an important early step in that effort. We are issuing this Policy as agency guidance rather than in a rulemaking in order to speed the delivery of an initial regulatory framework and best practices to guide manufacturers and other entities in the safe design, development, testing, and deployment of HAVs. In the following pages, we divide the task of facilitating the safe introduction and deployment of HAVs into four sections:

  • Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles
  • Model State Policy
  • NHTSA's Current Regulatory Tools
  • New Tools and Authorities
  1. Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles
  2. The Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles (or "Guidance") section outlines best practices for the safe pre-deployment design, development and testing of HAVs prior to commercial sale or operation on public roads. This Guidance defines "deployment" as the operation of an HAV by members of the public who are not the employees or agents of the designer, developer, or manufacturer of that HAV.

    This Guidance is intended to be an initial step to further guide the safe testing and deployment of HAVs. It sets DOT's expectations of industry by providing reasonable practices and procedures that manufacturers, suppliers, and other entities should follow in the immediate short term to test and deploy HAVs. The data generated from these activities should be shared in a way that allows government, industry, and the public to increase their learning and understanding as technology evolves but protects legitimate privacy and competitive interests.

  3. Model State Policy
  4. Today, a motorist can drive across state lines without a worry more complicated than, "did the speed limit change?" The integration of HAVs should not change that ability. Similarly, a manufacturer should be able to focus on developing a single HAV fleet rather than 50 different versions to meet individual state requirements.

    State governments play an important role in facilitating HAVs, ensuring they are safely deployed, and promoting their life-saving benefits. The Model State Policy confirms that States retain their traditional responsibilities for vehicle licensing and registration, traffic laws and enforcement, and motor vehicle insurance and liability regimes. Since 2014, DOT has partnered with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to explore HAV policies. This collaboration was one of the bases for the Model State Policy framework presented here and identifies where new issues fit within the existing federal/state structure. The shared objective is to ensure the establishment of a consistent national framework rather than a patchwork of incompatible laws.

  5. NHTSA's Current Regulatory Tools
  6. NHTSA will continue to exercise its available regulatory authority over HAVs using its existing regulatory tools: interpretations, exemptions, notice-and-comment rulemaking, and defects and enforcement authority. NHTSA has the authority to identify safety defects, allowing the Agency to recall vehicles or equipment that pose an unreasonable risk to safety even when there is no applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS).

    To aid regulated entities and the public in understanding the use of these tools (including the introduction of new HAVs), NHTSA has prepared a new information and guidance document. This document provides instructions, practical guidance, and assistance to entities seeking to employ those tools. Furthermore, NHTSA has streamlined its review process and is committing to issuing simple HAV-related interpretations in 60 days, and ruling on simple HAV-related exemption requests in six months.3 NHTSA will publish the section—which has wider application beyond HAVs—in the Federal Register for public review, comment and use.

  7. New Tools and Authorities
  8. The more effective use of NHTSA's existing regulatory tools will help to expedite the safe introduction and regulation of new HAVs. However, because today's governing statutes and regulations were developed when HAVs were only a remote notion, those tools may not be sufficient to ensure that HAVs are introduced safely, and to realize the full safety promise of new technologies. The speed with which HAVs are advancing, combined with the complexity and novelty of these innovations, threatens to outpace the Agency's conventional regulatory processes and capabilities.

    This challenge requires DOT to examine whether the way DOT has addressed safety for the last 50 years should be expanded to realize the safety potential of automated vehicles over the next 50 years.

    Therefore, this section identifies potential new tools, authorities and regulatory structures that could aid the safe and appropriately expeditious deployment of new technologies by enabling the Agency to be more nimble and flexible. There will always be an important role for standards and testing protocols based on careful scientific research and developed through the give-and-take of an open public process. It is likely that additional regulatory tools along with new expertise and research will be needed to allow the Agency to more quickly address safety challenges and speed the responsible deployment of lifesaving technology.

Public Comment

Although most of this Policy is effective immediately upon publication, DOT is also seeking public comment on the entire Policy. While the Agency sought input from various stakeholders during the development of the Policy, it recognizes that not all interested people had a full opportunity to provide such input. Moreover, while this Policy is intended as a starting point that provides needed initial guidance to industry, government, and consumers, it will necessarily evolve over time to meet the changing needs and demands of improved safety and technology. Accordingly, DOT expects and intends this Policy and its guidance to be iterative, changing based on public comment; the experience of the agency, manufacturers, suppliers, consumers, and others; and further technological innovation. DOT intends to revise and refine the Policy periodically to reflect such experience, innovation, and public input. Although it would not be practical to set a specific time for the next iteration, DOT expects to issue the first revised, follow-on Policy sometime within the next year, and at roughly annual intervals thereafter.

A critical input to the continuing development of this HAV Policy is the public notice-and-comment process. Along with this initial Policy, NHTSA is issuing a Request for Comment (RFC) on the Policy, which is available at www.nhtsa.gov/AV, or in the docket for this Policy, NHTSA-2016-0090. That RFC will be open for sixty (60) days. NHTSA will analyze the public comments received during that period and address significant comments in the next revision of this Policy.


The content of this Policy is the product of significant input from stakeholders across the spectrum of voices from the traveling public, traffic safety professionals, researchers, industry, government, the disabled community and others. As technology develops, more data becomes available and new ideas are brought forth, DOT will adapt and supplement this Policy. Within the next year, DOT intends to produce an updated version of this Policy incorporating new data, lessons learned from experience with applying this guidance, and stakeholder input.

New vehicle technologies developed in the 20th century—from seat belts to air bags to child seats—were once controversial. But after having saved hundreds of thousands of American lives, they are now considered indispensable. Advanced technologies developed in the first part of the 21st century—like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warnings—are already making U.S. roads safer. How many more lives might be saved today and in the future with highly automated vehicles? DOT is committed to finding out.

Note on "Levels of Automation"

There are multiple definitions for various levels of automation and for some time there has been need for standardization to aid clarity and consistency. Therefore, this Policy adopts the SAE International (SAE) definitions for levels of automation. The SAE definitions divide vehicles into levels based on "who does what, when."4 Generally:

  • At SAE Level 0, the human driver does everything;
  • At SAE Level 1, an automated system on the vehicle can sometimes assist the human driver conduct some parts of the driving task;
  • At SAE Level 2, an automated system on the vehicle can actually conduct some parts of the driving task, while the human continues to monitor the driving environment and performs the rest of the driving task;
  • At SAE Level 3, an automated system can both actually conduct some parts of the driving task and monitor the driving environment in some instances, but the human driver must be ready to take back control when the automated system requests;
  • At SAE Level 4, an automated system can conduct the driving task and monitor the driving environment, and the human need not take back control, but the automated system can operate only in certain environments and under certain conditions; and
  • At SAE Level 5, the automated system can perform all driving tasks, under all conditions that a human driver could perform them.

Using the SAE levels, DOT draws a distinction between Levels 0-2 and 3-5 based on whether the human operator or the automated system is primarily responsible for monitoring the driving environment. Throughout this Policy the term "highly automated vehicle" (HAV) represents SAE Levels 3-5 vehicles with automated systems that are responsible for monitoring the driving environment.

An automated vehicle system is a combination of hardware and software (both remote and on-board) that performs a driving function, with or without a human actively monitoring the driving environment. A vehicle has a separate automated vehicle system for each Operational Design Domain such that a SAE Level 2, 3 or 4 vehicle could have one or multiple systems, one for each ODD (e.g., freeway driving, self-parking, geofenced urban driving). SAE Level 5 vehicles have a single automated vehicle system that performs under all conditions. This Policy defines "HAV systems" as automated vehicle systems that are capable of monitoring the driving environment as defined by SAE J3016. HAV systems are SAE Level 3 and higher by definition.5

NHTSA expects manufacturers and entities to classify their HAV system(s) as described in SAE J3016. Examples and the application of classifying HAV systems to the SAE levels of automation can be seen in the paper "Key Considerations in the Development of Driving Automation Systems."6

Note on Effective Dates of This Policy

As discussed above, most of this Policy is effective on the date of its publication. However, certain elements involving data and information collection will be effective upon the completion of a Paperwork Reduction Act review and process. Those elements are the Safety Assessment for HAV Manufacturers and Other Entities and the Safety Assessment for L2 Systems described in Section I, Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles.

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This section discusses potential new tools and authorities that could help the Agency to meet the challenges and opportunities involved in facilitating the safe, expeditious development of HAVs. NHTSA is also issuing today a Request for Comment on this entire Policy—including this Modern Regulatory Tools discussion—to obtain public input concerning these matters.

AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators)
AAMVA is a non-profit organization that develops model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement, and highway safety. See www.aamva.org/about-aamva/.
ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
ANSI is a non-profit organization that coordinates development of voluntary consensus standards. See www.ansi.org/about_ansi/overview/overview.aspx?menuid=1.
California PATH
California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH), is a multi-disciplinary research and development program of the University of California, Berkeley, with staff, faculty, and students from universities worldwide and cooperative projects with private industry, State and local agencies, and nonprofit institutions. See www.path.berkeley.edu.
CIE (International Commission on Illumination)
CIE is a non-profit organization that coordinates development of voluntary consensus standards regarding illumination. See www.cie.co.at.
An unintended event resulting in fatality, injury or damage to a vehicle or property, involving one or more motor vehicles, on a roadway that is publicly maintained and open to the public for vehicular travel.
DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)
A State-level government agency that administers vehicle registration and driver licensing, among other things.
For purposes of this Policy, the human operator of an HAV when it is not operating in a fully automated mode.
DVI (Driver-Vehicle Interface)
The specialized version of HMI for the driving task.
A collective term used to refer to automated vehicle Manufacturers and Other Entities
Event 114
An occurrence that is not readily discernible as an incident. Not all events have an impact on safety. Example: Automation function shuts down and returns to a minimal risk condition for no apparent reason.
FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard)
A vehicle safety regulation issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), codified at 49 CFR Part 571, and applying to motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment.
HAVs (Highly Automated Vehicles)
Vehicles that contain systems referred to as Conditional (Level 3), High (Level 4), and Full (Level 5) Automation in SAE J3016. These are systems that rely on the automation system (not on a human) to monitor the driving environment.
HAV Systems (Highly Automated Vehicle Systems)
A system is a combination of hardware and software that provides safety, comfort, and convenience features to drivers. Automated driving systems (hardware and software) are ones that perform a driving function (e.g., freeway driving, automated taxi, self-parking) by controlling and combining braking, throttle and steering functionality. The capability of a system is broken down into levels depending on the system's ability to monitor the driving environment as defined by SAE J3016. In this document, an HAV system is one that is SAE Level 3 and higher where the system monitors the driving environment instead of the driver.
HMI (Human-Machine Interface)
The combination of hardware and software that allows a human to interact with a machine to perform a task.
Incident 115
An occurrence involving one or more vehicles in which a hazard or a potential hazard is involved but not classified as a crash due to the degree of injury and/or extent of damage. An incident could affect the safety of operations. This definition covers a broad range of events. Example: HAV requires human control to avoid a crash with another object.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
An independent, non-governmental organization with a membership of 162 national standards bodies that coordinates development of voluntary consensus standards. See www.iso.org/iso/home/about.htm.
An individual or company that manufactures automated vehicles or equipment for testing and deployment on public roadways. Manufacturers include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), multiple and final stage manufacturers, alterers (individuals or companies making changes to a completed vehicle prior to first retail sale or deployment), and modifiers (individuals or companies making changes to existing vehicles after first retail sale or deployment).
Minimal risk condition
A low-risk operating condition that an automated driving system automatically resorts to either when a system fails or when the human driver fails to respond appropriately to a request to take over the dynamic driving task.
NCAP (New Car Assessment Program)
A consumer information program implemented by NHTSA to provide information to consumers on the relative safety of passenger motor vehicles. See 49 U.S.C. Chapter 323; www.safercar.gov.
Anyone seated in or on an automated vehicle.
ODD (Operational Design Domain)
A description of the specific operating domain(s) in which an automated function or system is designed to properly operate, including but not limited to roadway types, speed range, environmental conditions (weather, daytime/nighttime, etc.), and other domain constraints.
OEDR (Object and Event Detection and Response)
The perception by the driver or system of any circumstance that is relevant to the immediate driving task, as well as the appropriate driver or system response to such circumstance.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
An individual or (more usually) a company that manufactures new motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment.
An occupant of an automated vehicle who is not responsible for the driving task, but is still responsible for certain aspects of the journey (i.e., inputting a destination for the vehicle).
Other Entity
Any individual or company, that is not a manufacturer, involved with helping to manufacture, design, supply, test, sell, operate or deploy automated vehicles or equipment.
SAE International
An automotive and aerospace standards setting body that coordinates development of voluntary consensus standards. See www.sae.org/about.
Vehicle Safety Act
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, as amended. See 49 U.S.C. § 30101 et seq.

To aid its efforts to determine what types of new regulatory tools might potentially be most useful, NHTSA examined the experiences of other Federal agencies facing similar technological innovations and challenges and adapting their regulatory frameworks to facilitate the introduction of those technologies, while at the same time taking the actions necessary to assure the safe deployment and performance of those technologies.

The Agency focused on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) because its challenges seem closest to those that NHTSA faces in dealing with HAVs. FAA uses an agency pre-market approval process116 to regulate the safety of complex, software-driven products like autopilot systems on commercial aircraft. The FAA also requires regulated parties to analyze and assure the functional and system safety of their products during the product design process.117 To help NHTSA assess the relevance of the FAA's experience and the potential feasibility and transferability of its regulatory tools and policies to the Agency, NHTSA considered the implications of the similarities and differences between the industry and products FAA regulates and the ones NHTSA regulates, e.g., numbers of manufacturers, numbers of models, numbers and frequency of new model introductions (and thus number of new model approval needed), and adherence to standardized production cycles such as the model year production cycle used in the motor vehicle industry. That consideration is discussed below.

The FAA uses a pre-market approval (i.e., Agency certification) process for new commercial aircraft. Before introducing a new aircraft into commercial service, a manufacturer must obtain a certification by the FAA that the aircraft meets aviation safety standards. There are five phases for FAA's "type certification" process for approving aircraft design that move from early project concept and initiation through post certification activities.118 All phases contribute to improving safety and serve to mitigate cost and project risk. The five phases are:

  • Conceptual design phase;
  • Requirements definition phase;
  • Compliance planning phase;
  • Implementation phase; and
  • Post certification phase.

The duration of the certification processes varies. Typically, they last three to five years. However, the most recent FAA certification process for a new commercial aircraft design, the one for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, lasted considerably longer.119 It consumed an estimated 200,000 hours of FAA staff time and lasted eight years. The unusually long duration of the process was at least partly the result of the very advanced nature of the aircraft and the production of key components in locations geographically distant from one another (e.g., the wings were produced in Japan and the fuselage in the United States).

One way in which the FAA has been able to keep the duration of most certification processes to three to five years has been by delegating some of the oversight functions to the aircraft manufacturers. This practice is somewhat similar to self-certification. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 was the original statute allowing FAA to delegate activities, as that Agency thinks necessary, to approved private people (experts) employed by aircraft manufacturers. Although paid by the manufacturers, these experts act as surrogates for FAA in examining aircraft designs, production quality, and airworthiness. The FAA is responsible for overseeing the expert designees' work and determining whether designs meet FAA requirements for safety.

The FAA places great importance on system safety and safety risk management, an element of which is functional safety.120 The purpose of the system safety effort is not to produce a hazard analysis report, but to influence the design of the system to ensure that it is safe when it enters the production phase of the acquisition life cycle.121 This can be accomplished effectively if the following process tasks are performed:

  • Identify the safety critical functions of the system;
  • Identify the system and subsystem hazards/risks;
  • Determine the effects of the risk occurrence;
  • Analyze the risk to determine all contributing factors (i.e., hardware, software, human error, and combinations of each);
  • Categorize the risk in terms of severity and likelihood of occurrence;
  • Determine requirements for each contributing factor to eliminate, mitigate, and/or control the risk to acceptable levels;
  • Determine testing requirements to prove the successful implementation of design requirements where the hazard risk index warrants; and
  • Determine and communicate residual safety risk after all other safety efforts are complete to the design team and program management.

While the numbers of manufacturers and of new design introductions are relatively small for commercial aircraft, these numbers are much larger for drones (unmanned aircraft systems). These differences have led the FAA to take some different approaches in dealing with drones.

While FAA's proposed rule to establish standards for small UAS was pending, the Agency took the interim step of issuing exemptions to permit civil visual-line-of-sight small UAS operations in the National Airspace System. The final rule, which was issued on June 21, 2016, permits those operations and does not require airworthiness certification of small UAS.122

1  Kahane, C.J. (2015, January). Lives saved by vehicle safety technologies and associated Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, 1960 to 2012 – Passenger cars and LTVs – With reviews of 26 FMVSS and the effectiveness of their associated safety technologies in reducing fatalities, injuries, and crashes. (Report No. DOT HS 812 069). Washington, D.C. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

2  See Singh, S. (2015, February). Critical reasons for crashes investigated in the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey. (Traffic Safety Facts Crash Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 115). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

3   Both interpretations and exemption requests have often taken years for NHTSA to decide.

4  See www.sae.org/misc/pdfs/automated_driving.pdf for a relatively plain-language explanation of the SAE taxonomy.

5  If a vehicle can do freeway driving and non-freeway driving, the operational design domain would outline the appropriate scenarios the vehicle must operate in to be safe and would be considered one system.

6  "Key Considerations in the Development of Driving Automation Systems." Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) Automated Vehicle Research (AVR) Consortium; Andy Christensen, Nissan - North America Andrew Cunningham, Volkswagen (VW) Group of America Jerry Engelman, Ford Motor Company Charles Green, General Motors Charles Kawashima, Mercedes-Benz Steve Kiger, CAMP Danil Prokhorov, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. Levasseur Tellis, Ford Motor Company Barbara Wendling, Volkswagen (VW) Group of America Frank Barickman, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Proceedings of the 24th Enhanced Safety of Vehicles Conferences, 2015. http://www-esv.nhtsa.dot.gov/Proceedings/24/files/24ESV-000451.PDF.

7  See Review of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for Automated Vehicles: Review of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for Automated Vehicles. Preliminary Report - March 2016. Available at http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/57000/57000/57076/Review_FMVSS_AV_Scan.pdf.

8  49 U.S. Code §§ 30102(a)(8), 30116, 30120.

9  "DOT/NHTSA Policy statement concerning Automated Vehicles" 2016 update to "Preliminary statement of policy concerning automated vehicles". Available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/Autonomous-Vehicles-Policy-Update-2016.pdf.

10  This would include entities such as a modifier or alterer that adds automated features to a vehicle after its manufacture. It would also include transit companies, fleet owners, and others who may test or operate HAV systems.

11   Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, NHTSA is seeking public comment on an Information Collection Request that covers the information sought in this section and in other parts of this document. The information collection and reporting requirements identified in this document will not be effective until the ICR process is completed.

12   As defined in Section 4 of the White House Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, the Agency views as personal data: "data that are under the control of a covered entity, not otherwise generally available to the public through lawful means, and are linked, or as a practicable matter linkable by the covered entity, to a specific individual, or linked to a device that is associated with or routinely used by an individual." NHTSA intends for the term "reasonably linkable," as used herein, to have the same meaning as the phrase "as a practical matter linkable" in the definition of "personal data" that appears in Section 4 of the White House Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. The Federal Trade Commission also uses the term "reasonably linkable" as it relates to personally identifiable information in its recent comment to the Federal Communications Commission at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/advocacy_documents/comment-staff-bureau-consumer-protection-federal-trade-commission-federal-communications-commission/160527fcccomment.pdf.

13   Under the EWR program (49 CFR Part 579 Reporting of Information and Communications about Potential Defects) NHTSA requires manufacturers to provide information annually relating to possible safety-related defects and noncompliance in their products. These requirements will apply to manufacturers of HAVs once their vehicles are introduced for public sale or commercial use. Specifically, sections 579.21 and 579.27 apply. Under Part 579, manufacturers that produce more than 5,000 total vehicles annually must report on injuries, fatalities, property damage claims, consumer complaints, warranty claims and field reports. Furthermore, these same manufacturers must also identify the vehicle systems (e.g., ESC, forward collision avoidance, lane departure prevention, back-over prevention) that are the cause of the problem/issue. Manufacturers that produce fewer than 5,000 total vehicles annually would have to report on incidences where a fatality occurred and on field reports received along with identification of systems involved. Production volume for a manufacturer includes all vehicles produced not just its HAVs. The Agency recommends that all the above information be submitted to the Agency for HAVs annually, regardless of total production volume.

14   Available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/cpbr-act-of-2015-discussion-draft.pdf.

15   Available at http://www.autoalliance.org/index.cfm?objectid=CC629950-6A96-11E4-866D000C296BA163.

16   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

17   Under ISO 26262 (Road Vehicles: Functional Safety), functional safety refers to absence of unreasonable safety risks in cases of Electrical and Electronic failures.

18   MIL-STD-882E. 11 May 2012. Available at http://www.system-safety.org/Documents/MIL-STD-882E.pdf.

19   Van Eikema Hommes, Q. D. (2016, June). Assessment of safety standards for automotive electronic control systems. (Report No. DOT HS 812 285). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

20   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

21   Manufacturers should insist that their suppliers build into their equipment robust cybersecurity features. Manufacturers should also address cybersecurity, but they should not wait to address cybersecurity until after they have received equipment from a supplier.

22   An ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Center) is a trusted, sector-specific entity that can provide a 24-hour per day and 7-day per week secure operating capability that establishes the coordination, information sharing, and intelligence requirements for dealing with cybersecurity incidents, threats, and vulnerabilities. See McCarthy, C., Harnett, K., Carter, A., and Hatipoglu, C. (2014, October). Assessment of the information sharing and analysis center model. (Report No. DOT HS 812 076). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

23   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

24   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

25   Entities are encouraged to seek technical and engineering advice from members of the disabled community and otherwise engage with that community to develop designs informed by its needs and experiences.

26   In 2003, as part of a voluntary agreement on crash compatibility, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers agreed to a geometric compatibility commitment which would provide for alignment of primary energy absorbing structures among vehicles. The European Union recently introduced a new frontal crash test that also requires geometric load distribution similar to the Alliance voluntary agreement. 

27   The training and education programs recommended here are intended to complement and augment driver training and education programs run by States, who retain the primary responsibility for training, testing, and licensing human drivers. Additionally. to the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

28   To the extent that these reporting obligations extend beyond what is already covered by NHTSA's PRA clearance for Part 566, this provision of the guidance will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

29   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

30   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

31   This discussion is intended only to introduce the relevance and importance of ethical considerations to the development and deployment of HAVs. It is not intended to be exhaustive or definitive, or to answer ethical questions, but rather only to raise the general topic of ethics as worthy of discussion and consideration by manufacturers, consumers, government, and other stakeholders.

32   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

33   Automated Vehicle Research for Enhanced Safety: Final Report. Collision Avoidance Metrics Partnership, Automated Vehicle Research Consortium. June 2016. DTNH22-050H-01277.

34   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

35   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

36   See Nowakowski, Christopher, et al., "Development of California Regulations to Govern the Testing and Operation of Automated Driving Systems," California PATH Program, University of California, Berkeley, Nov. 14, 2014, at 10. Available at http://docs.trb.org/prp/15-2269.pdf .

37   Id., at 10-11. NHTSA notes that California PATH's work defined only minimum behavioral competencies for automated vehicles, which that organization described as "necessary, but by no means sufficient, capabilities for public operation."

38   See Rau, Paul, Mikio Yanagawa, and Wassim G. Najm, "Target Crash Population of Automated Vehicles," available at http://www-esv.nhtsa.dot.gov/Proceedings/24/files/Session%2021%20Written.pdf.

39   See Najm, Wassim G., John D. Smith, and Mikio Yanagawa, "Pre-Crash Scenario Typology for Crash Avoidance Research," DOT HS 810 767, April 2007. Available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NRD/Multimedia/PDFs/Crash%20Avoidance/2007/Pre-Crash_Scenario_Typology-Final_PDF_Version_5-2-07.pdf.

40   Available at http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/55000/55400/55443/AVBenefitFrameworkFinalReport082615_Cover1.pdf .

41   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

42   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

43   SAE J3016.

44   To the extent that this provision implicates information collection subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, its requirements will not take effect until after NHTSA completes the PRA process for its data collection and reporting requirements. Once that process is complete and any resulting adjustments have been made, this provision of the Guidance will be effective.

45   NHTSA plans to continue Agency research into test and verification methods for highly automated vehicles as resources and availability of systems permit.

46   Available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/laws_regs/pdf/Electronic-Systems-Performance-in-Motor%20Vehicles.pdf .

47   There is no Safety Assessment document requested for SAE Level 0 and 1 systems. However, if multiple SAE Level 0 and 1 systems could be simultaneously engaged by the driver and in combination they could create a system of systems that would function as a SAE Level 2 system, manufacturers are expected to submit a Safety Assessment to NHTSA.

48   See 49 U.S.C. § 30166(g)(1).

49   The purpose of NHTSA's collaboration with States and other stakeholders was to obtain their individual views and input and to exchange facts and information. NHTSA did not seek consensus recommendations from these stakeholders.

50   DOT reiterates that the Performance Guidance is not intended for codification by States, in part because DOT will revise and update that Guidance with experience and as technology evolves.

51   NHTSA does not expressly regulate motor vehicle (or motor vehicle equipment) performance in-use, after first sale, but because NHTSA's standards apply to the vehicle or equipment when first manufactured, and because taking a vehicle or piece of equipment out of compliance with an applicable standard can be a violation of the Safety Act, the influence of NHTSA's FMVSS extends through the life of the vehicle even if NHTSA is not directly regulating it. At the same time, States have the authority to regulate a vehicle's in-use performance (as through safety inspection laws), but as the text here states, State regulations cannot conflict with applicable FMVSS.

52   "When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter." 49 U.S.C. § 30102(b)(1).

53   See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000).

54   Depending on the circumstances, States may wish to establish a higher minimum insurance requirement.

55   Typically, a driver's license from one State in the United States is honored by all other States, so a driver's license from any State would be valid to allow an "operator" to operate a motor vehicle in any other State.

56   Some vehicles may be capable of being entirely "driven" either by the vehicle itself or by a human driver. For such dual-capable vehicles, the States would have jurisdiction to regulate (license, etc.) the human driver.

57   See www.nhtsa.gov/AV.

58   The FMVSS are codified at 49 CFR Part 571. DOT's Volpe Center recently reviewed the FMVSS to identify potential barriers to introduction of AV technology, and found very few. See Kim, et al., "Review of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for Automated Vehicles," March 2016, available at http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/57000/57000/57076/Review_FMVSS_AV_Scan.pdf.

59   A recent change to NHTSA's organic statute in the FAST Act allows manufacturers who had manufactured and distributed FMVSS-compliant vehicles as of the date of enactment of the FAST Act to introduce non-compliant vehicles for testing purposes only without petitioning NHTSA for an exemption.

60   With respect to international coordination, DOT recognizes that it is important to avoid regulatory inefficiencies and concurrently maximize safety as we collectively strive to facilitate the introduction of HAVs into the marketplace. DOT is actively working to remove potential regulatory barriers for HAVs, both in the U.S. and abroad. DOT is actively involved at the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations and directly with individual foreign governments. These activities are intended to reduce barriers to innovation while preserving safety. Where appropriate, DOT will intensify its efforts to develop well-designed and globally-consistent regulations for HAVs.

61   See www.nhtsa.gov/AV.

62   Id.

63   While NHTSA intends for this information to assist members of the public in interacting with the Agency, we emphasize that if there are any discrepancies between the statements in this document and applicable statute or regulation, the statute or regulation controls, and that this document is not intended to be binding on the Agency or outside parties. If an outside party has a question about the contents of this notice and guidance, NHTSA encourages them to contact the Office of the Chief Counsel at 202-366-2992.

64   49 U.S.C. § 30112.

65   49 U.S.C. § 32506. Exemptions from bumper standards are allowed only for "passenger motor vehicles," which NHTSA defines as "a vehicle with motive power designed to carry not more than 12 individuals, but does not include a truck not designed primarily to carry its operator or passengers, or a motorcycle." 49 CFR § 555.4.

66   49 U.S.C. § 30113.

67   49 U.S.C. § 30114.

68   FAST Act, Sec. 24404, to be codified at 49 U.S.C. § 30112(b)(10). Because "replica" is defined in that provision as a motor vehicle intended to resemble the body of another motor vehicle that was manufactured not less than 25 years prior, DOT assumes for purposes of this particular document that manufacturers wishing to introduce HAV technologies are not likely planning to install them on "replica" vehicles, and will more likely seek exemption from applicable FMVSS under the § 30113 provisions.

69   49 U.S.C. § 30113(h); 49 CFR § 555.9; FAST Act, Sec. 24405.

70   NHTSA recently issued guidance to assist persons wishing to petition for a rulemaking. See Section III.C.

71   49 U.S.C. § 30113(d).

72   49 CFR § 555.7(a).

73   Id.

74   49 CFR § 555.7(d).

75   49 CFR § 555.7(e).

76   49 CFR § 555.7(b) and (c).

77   49 CFR § 555.7(f).

78   49 U.S.C. § 30113(f); 49 CFR § 555.10.

79   49 U.S.C. § 30113(c)(1).

80   49 CFR § 555.6(a).

81   49 U.S.C. § 30113(c)(2).

82   49 CFR § 555.6(b).

83   49 U.S.C. § 30113(c)(3).

84   49 CFR § 555.6(c).

85   49 U.S.C. § 30113(c)(4).

86   49 CFR § 555.6(d).

87   49 CFR § 555.8(a).

88   49 CFR § 555.8(b).

89   49 CFR § 555.8(e).

90   49 CFR § 555.8(d).

91   49 CFR § 555.8(c).

92   49 CFR § 555.8(f).

93   Appendix I summarizes this guidance in a more concise format (similar to Federal Register regulatory text).

94   Section 124 is codified at 49 U.S.C. 30162.

95   The purpose of Part 552 is set forth in § 552.1, Scope: This part establishes procedures for the submission and disposition of petitions filed by interested persons pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Chapters 301, 305, 321, 323, 325, 327, 329 and 331 to initiate rulemaking or to make a decision that a motor vehicle or item of replacement equipment does not comply with an applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or contains a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety.

96   § 552.4 Requirements for petition.

… Each petition filed under this part must:

(a) Be written in the English language;

(b) Have, preceding its text, a heading that includes the word "Petition";

(c) Set forth facts which it is claimed establish that an order is necessary;

(d) Set forth a brief description of the substance of the order which it is claimed should be issued; and

(e) Contain the name and address of the petitioner.

97   "Agency's action" refers to the regulatory text that is added to, changed in, or deleted from the Code of Federal Regulations by the final rule. Disagreement with the Agency's preamble describing the Agency's action and its rationale for that action is not grounds for petitioning for reconsideration, because the preamble is not the rule itself.

98   For example, a variety of vehicle safety rulemakings were mandated in the recently enacted ''Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act'' (FAST Act), Public Law No: 114-94.

99   H.R. Rep. No. 89-1776, at 10 (1966). The Safety Act, as amended, is now codified at 49 U.S.C. §§ 30101 et seq.

100   In 1974, Congress mandated that manufacturers recall their noncompliant vehicles as well as their defective ones and remedy the problems without charge to consumers.

101   For example, stopping distance is a performance metric for measuring the effectiveness of a braking system.

102  A maximum of some number of feet, say 300, is an example of a maximum performance threshold.

103   For review of NHTSA's authority to regulate advanced technologies under the Safety Act, see the Potential Regulatory Challenges of Increasingly Autonomous Vehicles, 52 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1423 (Wood et al., 2012) at http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/lawreview/vol52/iss4/9/.

104   See http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/crash-avoidance/LEtter-to-CA-DMV-04012015.pdf .

105   See I.D, supra; see also Appendix II (describing safety assurance tools used by FAA).

106   Both the U.S. and Canada use self-certification for their vehicle safety standards. Use of the same approach in both countries facilitates U.S.-Canada regulatory cooperation and the operation of the closely integrated U.S.-Canada motor vehicle industry.

107   Such an approval process would be considerably different from the type approval process used by regulatory authorities in the European Union and various other countries. The European Commission type-approves new vehicle models before they can be manufactured and sold. However, in deciding whether to type-approve a model, the Commission does not consider aspects of performance for which it has not yet established any regulations. The scope of its analysis and approval is limited to the aspects of performance for which there are regulations. The performance metrics, thresholds, and test procedures and equipment in those regulations give the Commission a way of scientifically measuring and evaluating performance. In addition to ensuring that evaluation process is objective, this limitation has the advantage of enabling manufacturers to anticipate the bases on which their models will be evaluated and assures that all models of all manufacturers will be judged on a level playing field.

108   See Nowakowski et. al. at 12 (a "…third-party certification process has the merit of added credibility because of the independence of the certifying organization, but it also raises new problems involving protection of manufacturers' intellectual property (including trade secrets), lack of organizations qualified to do the work in the U.S., and the cost associated with an additional team of people having to develop an in-depth understanding of a complex system. Requiring third-party certification would essentially require the development of a new certification industry in the U.S.").

109   PHMSA's pre-market approval approach illustrates an alternative to self-certification of compliance with regulatory standards, where the approved type provides an alternative that is equal in safety and in risk to that provided by an existing standard or requirement. Such a hybrid certification-approval approach likely would require fewer structural changes in NHTSA regulations and fewer additional resources than adoption of a full pre-market assurance approach to all vehicle safety standards.

110   Chrysler Corporation v. Department of Transportation, 472 F.2d 659, 676 (6th Cir. 1972).

111   See 49 U.S.C. § 30166(e), which authorizes the Secretary to require a manufacturer of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment to keep records, and a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer to make reports, to enable the Secretary to decide whether the manufacturer, distributor, or dealer has complied or is complying with this chapter or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this chapter. See also 49 U.S.C. §30166(m)(3)(B) which authorizes the Secretary, as part of the early warning reporting rule, to require manufacturers of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment to report, periodically or upon request of the Secretary, such information as the Secretary may request, to the extent that such information may assist in the identification of defects related to motor vehicle safety in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in the United States.

112   See the discussion of the Federal Aviation Administration and Food and Drug Administration tools and authorities at Appendix II.

113   See 49 U.S.C. §§ 30166(e) and (m)(3)(B).

114   Adapted from PTRS Code 1725/3720/5720.

115   Adapted from PTRS Code 1711/3711/5711 or 1712/3712/5712 (http://fsims.faa.gov/WDocs/8900.1/V07%20Investigation/Chapter%2001/07_001_002.htm).

116   NHTSA presently uses a manufacturer self-certification process, combined with periodic risk-based agency compliance testing, to ensure compliance with its standards, the FMVSS. The Agency does not presently engage in pre-market review, testing, or approval of products.

117   Similarly, the Federal Railroad Administration requires that steps be taken to analyze and assure the functional and system safety of train control systems. See 49 CFR Part 236 Appendix C, Safety Assurance Criteria and Processes.

118   See https://www.faa.gov/aircraft/air_cert/design_approvals/media/CPI_guide_II.pdf. Note that there are two other types of certification, i.e., production certification (based on manufacturer having sufficient processes to ensure aircraft produced conforms to the approved design) and airworthiness certification (based on a showing that the finished product does, in fact, conform to the approved design and is in condition for safe operation).

119   See http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=13064.

120   System Safety Process, See https://www.faasafety.gov/gslac/alc/libview_normal.aspx?id=6877. For a more detailed treatment of this subject, see http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/risk_management/ss_handbook/.

121   Much of this process and its individual elements could be described as "Safety Assurance." See IV.C, supra.

122   See 81 Fed. Reg. 42064 (Jun. 28, 2016).

123   See 49 U.S.C. § 30166(g)(1).