Model Federal Automated Driving Law

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Cite as Bryant Walker Smith, Model Federal Automated Driving Law (2017), newlypossible.org/modellaws

Some definitions are based on SAE J3016

See also Model State Automated Driving Law and Publications

Background

  1. It is the intent of Congress to facilitate the development and deployment of automated driving in a way that improves highway safety.
  2. Congress hereby finds that the automated operation of an automated vehicle under the conditions prescribed herein is consistent with article 8 of the Convention on Road Traffic because automated driving systems perform the operational and tactical functions otherwise performed by conventional drivers and have the potential to advance an object of the Convention by significantly improving highway safety.

Definitions

  1. Automated driving system means the hardware and software that are collectively capable of performing the entire dynamic driving task on a sustained basis.
  2. Automated operation means the performance of the entire dynamic driving task by an automated driving system, a remote driver, or a combination of automated driving system and remote driver.
  3. Automated vehicle means a motor vehicle with an automated driving system, regardless of whether the vehicle is under automated operation.
  4. Conventional driver means a natural person who performs part of or the entire dynamic driving task while seated in a position to manually exercise in-vehicle braking, accelerating, steering, and transmission gear selection input devices.
  5. Dedicated automated vehicle means an automated vehicle designed for exclusively automated operation.
  6. Dynamic driving task means all of the real-time operational and tactical functions required to operate a vehicle in on-road traffic, excluding the strategic functions such as trip scheduling and selection of destinations and waypoints, and including without limitation controlling lateral vehicle motion, controlling longitudinal vehicle motion, monitoring the driving environment, executing responses to objects and events, planning vehicle maneuvers, and enhancing vehicle conspicuity.
  7. Remote driver means a natural person who performs part of or the entire dynamic driving task while not seated in a position to manually exercise in-vehicle braking, accelerating, steering, and transmission gear selection input devices.

Objectivity

  1. Section 30111 of this Title is amended by striking: “The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe motor vehicle safety standards. Each standard shall be practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and be stated in objective terms.” and inserting: “The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe motor vehicle safety standards. Each standard shall be practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and be stated in objective terms. A standard may be stated in objective terms even if it specifies a test procedure that involves conditions or produces results that cannot be precisely replicated.”

Automatic exemptions

  1. A dedicated automated vehicle shall be exempt from any provision, including any requirement, specification, procedure, or portion thereof, of a motor vehicle safety standard or bumper standard prescribed under this Title if:
    1. such provision applies to motor vehicle equipment necessary only for the performance of the dynamic driving task by a conventional driver; and
    2. such standard, including any change thereto, was promulgated prior to the effective date of this Act.
  2. A dedicated automated vehicle that is not designed, intended, or marketed for human occupancy shall be exempt from any provision, including any requirement, specification, procedure, or portion thereof, of a motor vehicle safety standard or bumper standard prescribed under this Title if:
    1. such provision applies to motor vehicle equipment necessary only for the protection of human occupants of the vehicle on which such equipment is installed; and
    2. such standard, including any change thereto, was promulgated prior to the effective date of this Act.

Discretionary exemptions

  1. Section 30113(d) of this Title is amended by striking: “A manufacturer is eligible for an exemption under subsection (b)(3)(B)(ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section only if the Secretary determines the exemption is for not more than 2,500 vehicles to be sold in the United States in any 12-month period.” and inserting: “A manufacturer is eligible for an exemption under subsection (b)(3)(B)(ii) or (iii) of this section only if the Secretary determines the exemption is for not more than 2,500 vehicles to be sold in the United States in any 12-month period.”
  2. Section 30113(e) of this Title is amended by striking: “An exemption or renewal under subsection (b)(3)(B)(i) of this section may be granted for not more than 3 years. An exemption or renewal under subsection (b)(3)(B)(ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section may be granted for not more than 2 years.” and inserting: “An exemption or renewal under subsection (b)(3)(B)(i) of this section may be granted for not more than 3 years. An exemption or renewal under subsection (b)(3)(B)(ii) or (iii) of this section may be granted for not more than 2 years. An exemption or renewal under subsection (b)(3)(B)(iv) of this section may be granted for not more than 5 years.”