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Solicitation of Proposals for Designation of Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds Pilot

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Solicitation of Proposals for Designation of Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds Pilot

Anthony R. Foxx
U.S. Department of Transportation
29 November 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 229 (Tuesday, November 29, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 86069-86071]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-28619]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DOT-OST-2016-0233]


Solicitation of Proposals for Designation of Automated Vehicle 
Proving Grounds Pilot

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation 
(DOT).

ACTION: Notice of intent to designate proving grounds.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: It is the policy of the U.S. Department of Transportation 
(``DOT'' or the ``Department'') to foster the safe deployment of 
advanced automated vehicle technologies to achieve national goals while 
understanding the long-term societal and ethical impacts that these 
technological advancements may impose. To further this understanding, 
the DOT is requesting proposals from applicants to form an initial 
network of multiple proving grounds, focused on the advancement of 
automated vehicle technology. These entities will be designated as a 
Community of Practice to develop and share best practices around the 
safe testing, demonstration and deployment of automated vehicle 
technology.

DATES: Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on December 19, 
2016.

ADDRESSES: Final proposals must not exceed 15 pages in length, and must 
be submitted electronically to: automation@dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information concerning 
this notice, please send inquiries to automation@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department is requesting applications to 
be designated as USDOT Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds. Please read 
this notice in its entirety so that you have all the information to 
determine whether you would like to submit a proposal.

DESCRIPTION: Benefits of Designation as a USDOT Automated Vehicle 
Proving Ground: Automated and connected vehicle technologies are 
advancing, but the pace of innovation can accelerate through the safe 
testing and deployment of vehicles on closed tracks, on campuses and on 
limited roads. For this purpose, the DOT is seeking applications from 
eligible entities that would like to be designated USDOT Automated 
Vehicle Proving Grounds. The Department anticipates that the 
designation will encourage new levels of public safety while 
contributing to a strong innovative foundation able to transform 
personal and commercial

[[Page 86070]]

mobility and open new doors to disadvantaged people and communities. 
The designated proving grounds will collectively form a Community of 
Practice around safe testing and deployment. This group will openly 
share best practices for the safe conduct of testing and operations as 
they are developed, enabling the participants and the general public to 
learn at a faster rate and accelerating the pace of safe deployment. 
Designated Proving Grounds must establish a Designated Safety Officer 
responsible for their safety management plan and commit to sharing 
their approaches to safety and non-proprietary/non-confidential safety 
data generated though testing and operation.

DESIGNATION DECISIONS:  The Secretary of Transportation will make all 
designations under this notice. A designation as a USDOT Automated 
Vehicle Proving Ground is not an award of Federal financial assistance.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION:  The following entities are eligible for 
designation as a USDOT Automated Vehicle Proving Ground. Individuals 
are not eligible for designation under this notice. Facilities will not 
be limited to a predetermined size, number or variety of domains/
capabilities. The Department actively encourages the inclusion of 
minority institutions//businesses (e.g., small and disadvantaged 
businesses). Eligible entities include:
    (1) Test tracks or testing facilities
    (2) Race tracks
    (3) Cities/urban cores
    (4) Highway corridors
    (5) Campuses (corporate or academic)

SELECTION CRITERIA: The Secretary of Transportation will make all 
designations. Selections will be based on meeting the mandatory 
criteria and the level of ability of the applicant to meet one or more 
of the other criteria identified below:

Mandatory Criteria

     A Designated Safety Officer responsible for the entity's 
safety management plan and who will participate in the Community of 
Practice's regular quarterly meeting of Safety Officers.
     Commitment to sharing the entity's approaches to safety 
and safety data generated through testing and operation.

Proposed Contributions

     The extent to which the applicant meets the above 
eligibility and administers an established automated vehicle program, 
either independently or through a partnership.
     The capability of the applicant to provide leadership in 
making national and regional contributions to the solution of both 
long-range and immediate mobility challenges through the testing and 
deployment of automated vehicle technology.
     The applicant's proposed contributions to the Community of 
Practice. Examples include established safety management plans, access 
to testing data, engagement with stakeholders or ability to generate 
results that have broad applicability.
     As part of participation in the Community of Practice, 
Designated Proving Grounds applicant's ability and willingness to 
maintain a working relationship with the Department's relevant research 
program offices. The application should describe this proposed 
relationship, including aspects such as potential participation in 
conferences, meetings, joint research efforts, and submission of 
significant activity reports to the DOT on a routine basis.

Commitment to Safety

     The demonstrated capability to control risks through the 
implementation of robust safety precautions through a published safety 
management plan in all proving ground testing and operations.
     Applicant demonstrates that specific safety considerations 
have been met over the course of operation, including safety of proving 
ground personnel, safety protocols when making use of public roads, and 
attention to safe design, deployment, and operation of automated 
devices.

Research, Application and Data Sharing

     The extent to which the State or locality in which the 
applicant is located can provide applicable solutions for the broader 
region and surrounding corridor for improved mobility through the 
advancement of automated vehicle technology.
     The demonstrated research and extension resources 
available to the applicant for carrying out activities and programs as 
they relate to automated vehicle advancements.
     The degree to which the applicant can disseminate results 
of automated vehicle research through a statewide or region-wide 
education program to support the national deployment of automated 
vehicle technology.
     A commitment to open data and sharing performance metrics 
and results of objective tests.

Demonstrated Investments

     In facilitating automated vehicle testing, applicants 
demonstrate commitment through one or more of the following:
    (1) Capital improvements to the proving grounds to advance 
automated vehicles;
    (2) Authorization for the proving grounds, either through State 
legislation or regulation, to address regulatory challenges associated 
with higher levels of automation;
    (3) Testing or deployment underway to determine automated vehicle 
technology feasibility.

Readiness

    (1) Designated facility is open for testing, or the ability of the 
applicant to demonstrate that the facility will be open for testing, by 
January 1, 2018.
    (2) The facility supports testing by multiple users, or the data 
generated by the proving ground is shared openly to the public.
    (3) Designated facility provides a Designated Point of Contact.
    (4) If making use of public roads, the applicant demonstrates that 
it has engaged with any affected communities and can show that it is 
actively working with those communities to address any concerns.

Adherence to Laws, Regulations, and Federal Policy

     The degree to which the application addresses how the 
automated vehicle testing facility will adhere to all state and local 
laws and federal regulations.
     If making use of public roads, the applicant demonstrates 
adherence to those primary subject areas outlined in the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) policy for automated 
vehicles (Federal Automated Vehicles Policy: Accelerating the Next 
Revolution in Roadway Safety) for any testing or deployment of L3-L5 
systems on public roads.

REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS: DOT will review all applications received 
by the deadline. The designation review and selection process consists 
of two phases: Eligibility & Technical Review and Senior Review. In the 
Eligibility & Technical Review phase, DOT staff will (1) ensure that 
the applicant is eligible (see Eligibility Information section) and (2) 
assess the applicant's ability to meet the mandatory criteria and one 
or more of the other Selection Criteria enumerated above. In the Senior 
Review phase, which includes senior leadership from DOT, specific 
applications may be advanced to the Secretary for selection. In making 
recommendations, the Senior Review team may seek to ensure an equitable 
geographic distribution and the inclusion of minority institutions/
businesses (e.g., small and

[[Page 86071]]

disadvantaged businesses). The Secretary selects from applications 
advanced by the Senior Review team for designations.

DESIGNATION NOTICE: The Secretary will announce designations by posting 
a list of USDOT Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds at 
www.transportation.gov/. The Department anticipates that the selection 
of the initial USDOT Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds will be 
completed during the first quarter of calendar year 2017. The 
Department may make additional designations on an annual basis or as 
deemed appropriate.

DESIGNATION AGENCY CONTACTS: For further information concerning this 
notice, please contact the Department via email at automation@dot.gov, 
or call Christopher Hillers at 202-366-5421.

OTHER INFORMATION: All information submitted as part of or in support 
of any application shall use publicly available data or data that can 
be made public and methodologies that are accepted by industry practice 
and standards, to the extent possible. If the application includes 
information you consider to be a trade secret or confidential 
commercial or financial information, the applicant should do the 
following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission ``Contains 
Confidential Business Information (CBI)''; (2) mark each affected page 
``CBI''; and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI portions. DOT 
protects such information from disclosure to the extent allowed under 
applicable law. In the event DOT receives a Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) request for the information, DOT will follow the procedures 
described in its FOIA regulations at 49 CFR 7.17. Only information that 
is ultimately determined to be confidential under that procedure will 
be exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 22, 2016.
Anthony R. Foxx,
Secretary of Transportation.
[FR Doc. 2016-28619 Filed 11-28-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P

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