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Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Mobileye, Inc., Application for an Exemption

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mobileye

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Mobileye, Inc., Application for an Exemption

T.F. Scott Darling III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
March 18, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 52 (Wednesday, March 18, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14222-14223]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-06180]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0037]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Mobileye, 
Inc., Application for an Exemption

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces its decision to grant Mobileye, Inc.'s (Mobileye) exemption 
application to enable motor carriers to utilize its camera-based 
collision avoidance systems (CAS) mounted within the swept area of the 
windshield wipers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs) currently require antennas, transponders, and similar devices 
to be located outside the area swept by the windshield wipers. The 
Mobileye CAS is able to warn drivers of potential hazards by detecting 
other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists on the road, and lane markings 
and traffic signs. The Agency believes the use of the CAS promotes 
improved safety performance and that the placement of the system in the 
swept area of the windshield wipers will not obstruct drivers' view of 
the roadway and potential hazards. The Agency has concluded that the 
limited 2-year exemption will achieve a level of safety equivalent to 
or greater than the level of safety provided by the rule restricting 
the placement of devices in the windshield area.

DATES: This exemption is effective March 18, 2015 and ending March 20, 
2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV, (202) 366-5370, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments submitted to notice requesting public comments on the 
exemption application, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit 
Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal document 
management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. 
The docket number is listed at the beginning of this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in 
the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the 
public 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 safety analyses and public comments submitted, 
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)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Mobileye's Application for Exemption

    Mobileye applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1) to allow 
the installation of a CAS system on several thousand commercial motor 
vehicles. A copy of the application is included in the docket 
referenced at the beginning of this notice.
    Section 393.60(e)(1) of the FMCSRs prohibits the obstruction of the 
driver's field of view by devices mounted at the top of the windshield. 
Antennas, transponders and similar devices must not be mounted more 
than 152 mm (6 inches) below the upper edge of the windshield. These 
devices must be located outside 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, Mobileye stated:

    Mobileye is making this request because we are coordinating 
device development and installation of a camera based collision 
avoidance system in up to several hundred thousand commercial motor 
vehicles. The camera based sensor equipment to be installed is going 
to be located at either the bottom or top of the windshield, but 
will be in the swept area of the windshield wipers because the 
safety equipment must have a clear forward facing view of the road.
    This system is the same technology that Mobileye provides to 
carmakers such as Ford, GM, Honda and many others. These companies 
have deployed over two million vehicles with this technology. 
Collision avoidance systems, in particular those that have the main 
features of Mobileye, have been noted by NHTSA, NTSB and FMCSA as 
key safety equipment in both cars and trucks. Recently, the NTSB 
cited this type of collision avoidance system as part of its top ten 
``most wanted'' advocacy priorities. FMCSA itself has recommended 
Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning, just two of 
Mobileye features. Mobileye seeks exemption for the aftermarket 
(field retrofitable) version of this technology.
    With the exemption, Mobileye will be able to install the camera 
based collision avoidance system in a location which will offer the 
best opportunity to optimize the data and evaluate the benefits of 
such a system as well as maximize safety benefits.

    FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register 
on July 2, 2014, and asked for public comment (79 FR 37841).

Comments

    In response to its notice requesting public comment, the Agency 
received one comment from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The 
ATA stated that it ``strongly supports'' granting the exemption to 
allow use of the Mobileye CAS in commercial motor vehicles. The ATA 
noted that ``Safety technology companies have been working with many 
ATA members to help reduce carrier crash involvement rates using their 
technologies. As a result, many of our member companies have seen 
significant decreases in the number of at-fault collisions and near 
misses.''

FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA has evaluated the Mobileye exemption application. The 
Agency believes that granting the temporary exemption to allow 
placement of the Mobileye CAS system sensor in the upper or lower 
portion of the windshield, within the swept area of the windshield 
wipers, will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption 
because (1) based on the technical information available, there is no 
indication that the CAS sensor would obstruct drivers' views of the 
roadway, highway signs and surrounding traffic; (2) generally,

[[Page 14223]]

trucks and buses have an elevated seating position that greatly 
improves the forward visual field of the driver, and any impairment of 
available sight lines would be minimal; and (3) the location within the 
top or bottom four inches of the area swept by the windshield wiper and 
out of the driver's normal sightline will be reasonable and enforceable 
at roadside. In addition, the Agency believes that the use of the 
Mobileye CAS by fleets is likely to improve the overall level of safety 
to the motoring public.
    This action is consistent with previous Agency actions permitting 
the similar placement of video event recorders on CMVs, within the 
swept area of the windshield wipers. FMCSA has granted temporary 
exemptions to Greyhound Lines, Inc. and to DriveCam, Inc. regarding the 
use of the video event recorders to increase safety through (1) 
identification and remediation of risky driving behaviors such as 
distracted driving and drowsiness, (2) enhanced monitoring of passenger 
behavior on CMVs in passenger service, and (3) enhanced collision 
review and analysis. Both of these exemptions have been renewed for two 
additional 2-year periods, as FMCSA is not aware of any evidence 
showing that the installation of the devices in the upper area of the 
windshield has resulted in any degradation in safety. The Agency has 
not received any feedback from interested parties suggesting that use 
of safety devices/technology in the windshield area have had an adverse 
impact on safety.
    This action is also consistent with previous Agency actions 
permitting the similar placement of lane departure warning system 
sensors on CMVs, within the swept area of the windshield wipers. FMCSA 
initially granted temporary exemptions to Con-way Freight, TK Holdings, 
Inc., and Iteris, Inc. regarding the use of lane departure warning 
systems to increase safety by alerting drivers who unintentionally 
drift out of their lane of travel. The Agency renewed the exemptions 
for an additional 2-year period, and while the original exemptions 
granted relief to motor carriers using only the Takata and Iteris lane 
departure warning systems, the Agency determined--given that it has not 
been made aware of any reduction in the level of safety associated with 
the use of those systems--that it was appropriate to extend the scope 
of the exemption to encompass motor carriers using any lane departure 
warning system, provided that such sensors (1) are the same size or 
smaller than the Takata and Iteris (now Bendix) sensors, and (2) 
mounted in the windshield in accordance with the provisions of the 
original exemption.
    FMCSA continues to believe that the potential safety gains from the 
use of video event recorders and lane departure waning systems to 
improve driver behavior and performance will improve the overall level 
of safety to the motoring public. The Agency believes the same is true 
regarding the use of the Mobileye CAS.

Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a two-year period, 
beginning March 18, 2015 and ending March 20, 2017. During the 
temporary exemption period, motor carriers using the Mobileye CAS must 
ensure that the sensor is mounted not more than 100 mm (4 inches) below 
the upper edge, or 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. The exemption will be valid for two years 
unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: 
(1) Motor carriers and/or commercial motor vehicles fail to comply with 
the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has 
resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was 
granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent 
with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b).
    Interested parties possessing information that would demonstrate 
that motor carriers using the Mobileye CAS are not achieving the 
requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. 
The Agency will evaluate any such information and, if safety is being 
compromised or if the continuation of the exemption is not consistent 
with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), will take immediate steps to 
revoke the exemption.

Preemption

    During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with or is inconsistent 
with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the 
exemption.

    Issued on: March 12, 2015.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-06180 Filed 3-17-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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