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Notice

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From SmartDrive Systems, Inc.

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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 SmartDrive Systems, Inc. (SmartDrive) to allow an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) camera to be mounted lower in the windshield than is currently permitted. Mounting the camera in this location does not meet the driver's field of view requirements for windshields. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) require devices meeting the definition of “vehicle safety technology” to be mounted not more than 4 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, or 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 ADAS camera would be mounted outside of the driver's normal sight lines to the road ahead, highway signs, signals or any mirrors, SmartDrive believes that they will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2018-0321 using any of the following methods:

  • Website: 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 website 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 website as well as the DOT's http://docketsinfo.dot.gov website. 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. Luke W. Loy, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-PSV, (202) 366-0676, Luke.Loy@dot.gov, 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

FMCSA has authority to grant exemptions from some of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Under 49 CFR part 381, 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(a)).

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)).

SmartDrive's Application for Exemption

SmartDrive has applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to allow an ADAS 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, 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) Start Printed Page 60943requires 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, SmartDrive states:

SmartDrive is making this request so that it becomes possible to introduce Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to our current vehicle safety platform. These new ADAS capabilities include forward collision warnings, short following distance warnings, lane detection and departure warnings, and active monitoring with real-time driver feedback.

This system operates like many other similar systems for which FMCSA has granted exemptions. ADAS requires that a camera be mounted to the upper center area of the windshield in an area where the windshield is swept by the windshield wipers to provide a clear view to the lane markings on the road and other objects in front of the vehicle.

This exemption will accommodate the ADAS camera and housing which is an integral part of our next-generation comprehensive vehicle safety system. The camera housing is approximately 3.71 inches wide (94MM) by 5.2 inches tall (132MM) and will be mounted in the approximate center of the windshield with the bottom edge of the camera housing approximately 8 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers. The camera is mounted outside of the drivers and passenger's normal sight lines to the road ahead, signs, signals, and mirrors. This location will allow for the optimal functionality of the advanced safety systems supported by the camera.

SmartDrive has piloted the ADAS camera and functionality and found that 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.

The exemption would apply to all CMV operators utilizing SmartDrive ADAS camera systems. SmartDrive's believes that the installation of the ADAS systems camera within 8 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers will 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 SmartDrive application for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1). 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: November 20, 2018.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-25825 Filed 11-26-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P