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Notice

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Daimler Trucks North America LLC

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requests public comment on an application for exemption from Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) to allow its Attention Assist and Lane Departure Warning system camera to be mounted lower in the windshield on DTNA's commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) than is currently permitted.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 26, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2017-0176 using any of the following methods:

  • Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket site.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday-Friday, except Federal holidays.

Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the “Public Participation” heading below. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the “Privacy Act” heading for further information.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to Room W12-140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/​privacy.

Public participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You may find electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the “help” section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site as well as the DOT's http://docketsinfo.dot.gov Web site. If you would like notification that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgment page that appears after submitting comments online.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Jose R. Cestero, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-PSV, (202) 366-5541, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA- 21) [Pub. L. 105-178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 401] amended 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). On August 20, 2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589) implementing section 4007. Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public with an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request.

The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305).

The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)). If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason for doing so. If the decision is to grant the exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption and the regulatory provision or provisions from which an exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 5 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.315(c) and 49 CFR 381.300(b)).

DTNA's Application for Exemption

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require devices meeting the definition of “vehicle safety technology,” including DTNA's Attention Assist and Lane Departure Warning system, to be mounted (1) not more than 4 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, or (2) not more than 7 inches above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. Because the camera would be mounted outside of the driver's normal sight lines Start Printed Page 28931to the road ahead, highway signs and signals, and all mirrors, DTNA believes that the exemption would maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.

DTNA has applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to allow an Attention Assist and Lane Departure Warning system camera to be mounted lower in the windshield than is currently permitted. A copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.

Section 393.60(e)(1)(i) of the FMCSRs prohibits the obstruction of the driver's field of view by devices mounted at the top of the windshield. Antennas and similar devices must not be mounted more than 152 mm (6 inches) below the upper edge of the windshield, and outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. Section 393.60(e)(1)(i) does not apply to vehicle safety technologies, as defined in § 390.5 as including “a fleet-related incident management system, performance or behavior management system, speed management system, lane departure warning system, forward collision warning or mitigation system, active cruise control system, and transponder.” Section 393.60(e)(1)(ii) requires devices with vehicle safety technologies to be mounted (1) not more than 100 mm (4 inches) below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, or (2) not more than 175 mm (7 inches) above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver's sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals.

In its application, DTNA states:

The proposed exemption will increase safety by providing Attention Assist and Lane Departure Warning. The exemption will also allow DTNA to enable additional safety features in the future that will provide further safety benefits such as traffic sign recognition, active lane keeping, video capture, and intelligent headlight control. This safety device will become a critical enabler for future technology such as Autonomous Vehicles.

In the DTNA installation, the camera housing is approximately 102 mm (4.01 inches) wide by 177 mm (6.97 inches) tall. We propose to mount the camera such that it is in the approximate center of the top of the windshield and such that the bottom edge of the camera is approximately 7 inches below the upper edge of the windshield, outside of the driver's (and passenger's) normal sight lines to the road ahead, highway signs and signals, and all mirrors. This location will allow for the optimal functionality of the advanced safety systems supported by the camera.

DTNA has created a CAD layout of a typical DTNA conventional type truck to verify that the safety device does not significantly obstruct the FMVSS 104 specified zones A, B, or C for passenger cars of 1730 or more mm overall width. (See Figure 1.) In fact, the device only obstructs 0.0% of zone C, 1.2% of zone B, and 2.8% of zone A.

DTNA has installed prototype camera housings in fifteen DTNA conventional type vehicles and assessed the impact of the camera on driver and passenger visibility on over 50 CDL drivers and over 900,000 miles. This includes over-the-road mileage accumulation through a mixture of mountain, freeway, highway, and city routes. (See Figure 2 for a photograph taken from the driver seat.) All drivers and passengers agreed that there was no noticeable obstruction to the normal sight lines to the road ahead, highway signs, signals, or any mirrors. Driver comments included: “The position of the MPC1 camera system does not negatively impact visibility.”

While the application states that the camera will be mounted 7 inches below the upper edge of the windshield, DTNA provided supplemental information to clarify that the camera system will be mounted 8.5 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers.

The exemption would apply to all CMV operators driving DTNA vehicles with the Attention Assist and Lane Departure Warning system camera installed. Daimler believes that mounting the system as described would maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.

Request for Comments

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on DTNA's application for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60. All comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated at the beginning of this notice will be considered and will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Comments received after the comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new material.

Start Signature

Issued on: June 15, 2017.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-13126 Filed 6-23-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P