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Discretionary Cooperative Agreement to Foster the Development, Evaluation, and Deployment of a Heavy Vehicle Intelligent Commercial Vehicle Communication and Powering Enhancement System(s)

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Discretionary Cooperative Agreement to Foster the Development, Evaluation, and Deployment of a Heavy Vehicle Intelligent Commercial Vehicle Communication and Powering Enhancement System(s)

George L. Parker
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Register
September 12, 1994

[Federal Register: September 12, 1994]


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Discretionary Cooperative Agreement to Foster the Development, 
Evaluation, and Deployment of a Heavy Vehicle Intelligent Commercial 
Vehicle Communication and Powering Enhancement System(s)

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: NHTSA announces this discretionary cooperative agreement 
program to foster the development, evaluation, and deployment of a 
heavy vehicle intelligent communication and powering enhancement 
system(s) and solicits applications for projects under this program.

DATES: Applications must be received on or before October 5, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted to the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Contracts and Procurement 
(NAD-30), ATTN: Henrietta Mosley, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 5301, 
Washington, DC 20590. All applications submitted must include a 
reference to NHTSA Cooperative Agreement Program No. DTNH22-95-R-07001. 
Interested applicants are advised that no separate application package 
exists beyond the contents of this announcement.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Henrietta Mosley, Office of Contracts 
and Procurement, at (202) 366-9570, for general administrative 
questions; and C.J. Britell, Office of Crash Avoidance Research (NRD-
53), (202) 366-5678 for programmatic questions; at the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 6220, 
Washington, DC 20590.



    NHTSA has the responsibility to devise strategies to reduce the 
number of motor vehicle collisions and to save lives and reduce 
injuries and property damage through the prevention and reduction in 
severity of motor vehicle collisions. NHTSA's Office of Crash Avoidance 
Research conducts and manages research intended to: analyze driver-
vehicle interaction, identify specific vehicle designs, components, or 
parameters associated with driver performance errors and resulting 
collisions, and develop and evaluate vehicle-based collision avoidance 
countermeasure concepts and devices.
    There are approximately 1.6 million truck tractors and 3.6 million 
trailers in use in the motor carrier industry today. IVHS technology 
offers a significant potential to improve the productivity of the 
industry and help reduce the approximately 200,000 crashes in which 
these vehicles are involved each year. To date, the application of 
these technologies to commercial vehicles has been limited to single 
unit trucks and truck tractors because of constraints inherent in the 
present combination-unit truck trailer electrical powering and 
signalling communication system.
    Traditionally, the U.S. trucking industry equipment needs have been 
supplied by the truck/tractor manufacturer (supplying the towing unit) 
and the trailer manufacturer (supplying the cargo space to move goods). 
The two units are married at the fifth wheel of the power unit and the 
king-pin of the trailer. Communication and powering between the tractor 
and trailer consists of little more than supplying power and control 
from the tractor to the running lights of the trailer through the 
standard seven pin electrical connector (seven circuits). One of the 
primary reasons for lack of technology change in the standard seven 
circuit connection between the tractor and trailer is that any change 
may result in lack of compatibility between tractors and trailers 
operating in the U.S. However, the defense, aerospace, and computer 
industries have begun to focus on commercial vehicle applications as a 
potential new market for their innovative ideas and advanced 
technologies to improve safety, efficiency and productivity. In order 
for these advances to happen, they must comply with the needs and 
objectives of the users.
    Vehicle/unit locators, vehicle/driver trip loggers, on-board weight 
measurement and recording systems, vehicle maintenance status monitor/
recorder/transmitters, administrative credentials transponders, etc., 
are envisioned, and in some cases, beginning to be installed on trucks 
and tractors, resulting in significant operational efficiency benefits. 
Likewise, sideward-looking, reward-looking, and forward-looking 
collision avoidance systems, driver performance monitors, antilock and 
electronic braking systems, brake maintenance status monitors, etc., 
are envisioned, and in some cases, beginning to be installed on trucks 
and tractors to enhance their operational safety performance.
    To date, the application of these developing technologies to 
commercial vehicles has been limited predominately to the power unit. 
There is clearly a need to overcome the inherent constraints presently 
found in the communicating and powering system between tractors and 
trailers. These constraints are exacerbated in the case of multi-unit 
combination tractor/trailers, the vehicle type which will likely have 
an increased future role in improving the productivity of the motor 
carrier industry. The ability to install advanced technology IVHS 
productivity and safety enhancing equipment on this type of vehicle may 
be a key element in making their expanded future use practical and 
    A number of possibilities have been suggested to address this 
issue, including but not limited to: radio/telemetry communication 
linkages among units in the combination, communications signal 
multiplexing, voltage enhancements, wiring system upgrades, additional 
electrical circuits and/or wiring connector systems, etc. The 
successful introduction of any or all of these approaches will hinge on 
whether they can be integrated, and be compatible with existing 
equipment in the current commercial motor carrier fleet. A comparative 
evaluation of these approaches, and fleet demonstrations of the most 
promising among these, will help foster the implementation of IVHS 
technology in this application.


    To assess the functional capabilities and limitations, as well as 
the reliability and practicality, of alternative means of providing 
power to and sending/receiving communication signals to/from multiple 
numbers and different types of advanced technology safety and 
productivity enhancing systems on multi-unit combination heavy 
commercial tractor/trailers. Assessments will be made with a view to 
fostering the ability of system suppliers and truck users to 
commercially deploy these type systems.

Research Approach

    NHTSA believes that a teaming approach may be necessary to conduct 
this research. One or more cooperative agreements are envisioned in 
which a consortium of organizations with experience in truck/tractor 
manufacturing, trailer manufacturing, electronic system and component 
development, wiring and connectors, vehicle test and evaluation, and 
motor carrier operation (in the case of an in-service demonstration 
project) appear ideally suited to pursue this program.
    Because of the potential for cost sharing, the performing 
organization may retain the rights to any proprietary product or 
technology developed under the agreement, subject to a government use 
license. The organization would be free to pursue commercial 
development and marketing for the products. NHTSA will require 
deliverables, however, which could include reports suitable for 
publishing in the public domain to document such items as the research 
methods and system evaluation results. Certain proprietary information, 
such as algorithms, need not be released in the public domain.
    It is anticipated that one or more cooperative agreements may be 
awarded under this program. Projects will be funded incrementally, with 
up to a three-year support period. The maximum funding level that is 
anticipated for the total project is $575,000, excluding cost sharing 
provided by the performing organization(s). The maximum incremental 
funding available in any one year is anticipated to be $300,000.

NHTSA Involvement

    The NHTSA, Office of Crash Avoidance Research, will be involved in 
all activities undertaken as part of this cooperative agreement program 
and will:
    1. Provide, on an as-available basis, one professional staff 
person, to be designated as the Contracting Officer's Technical 
Representative (COTR), to participate in the planning and management of 
the cooperative agreement, and to coordinate activities between the 
organization and NHTSA;
    2. Make available information and technical assistance from 
government sources, within available resources and as determined 
appropriate by the COTR. This shall include data from state and 
national accident databases, human factors data, or any other resources 
within the government that may be of use in supporting research 
    3. Provide liaison with other government agencies and organizations 
as appropriate; and
    4. Help expand the knowledge base of collision avoidance systems 
and enabling technologies by publishing nonproprietary information 
developed at Government expense in the scientific literature, thus 
making it available to all organizations involved in research and 
product development in this area.

Period of Support

    The research and development effort described in this notice may be 
supported through the award of a cooperative agreement. NHTSA reserves 
the right to make multiple cooperative agreement awards for the effort 
described in this notice depending on the merits of the applications 
received and the amount of Federal funding available.
    Contingent on the availability of funds and satisfactory 
performance, cooperative agreement(s) will be awarded to eligible 
organization(s) for project periods of up to 3 years.

Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible to participate in this cooperative agreement 
program, an applicant must be a for-profit business organization (small 
or large), a non-profit organization, or an educational institution. 
Regardless of the type of organization applying for Federal funding 
assistance, no fee or profit will be allowed. While the proposed 
research effort may require extensive collaboration among several 
organizations, it is envisioned that during the pre-application 
process, these various organizations will designate one organization to 
prepare and submit the formal application.

Application Procedure

    Each applicant must submit one original and two copies of its 
application package to: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 
Office of Contracts and Procurement (NAD-30), ATTN: Henrietta Mosley, 
400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 5301, Washington, DC 20590. Only complete 
application packages received on or before October 5, 1994 shall be 
considered. Submission of three additional copies will expedite 
processing, but is not required. The applicant shall specifically 
identify any information in the application for which confidentiality 
is requested, in accordance with the procedures of 49 CFR Part 512, 
Confidential Business Information.

Application Contents

    1. The application package must be submitted with OMB Standard Form 
424 (Rev. 4-88, including 424A and 424B), with the required information 
filled in and the certified assurances included. While the Form 424-A 
deals with budget information, and Section B identifies budget 
categories, the available space does not permit a level of detail which 
is sufficient for a meaningful evaluation of proposed costs. A 
supplemental sheet should be provided which presents a detailed 
breakdown of the proposed costs, as well as the costs which the 
applicant proposes to contribute in support of this effort, or any 
additional financial commitment made by other sources. The budget 
detail shall include all cost components of the project. Labor 
categories, hourly labor rates, and projected labor hours for each 
category should be included, as well as all materials, computer time, 
test facility fees, etc. For planning purposes, the required briefings, 
during the agreement performance period, will be conducted at NHTSA in 
Washington, D.C.
    2. Applicants shall include a program narrative statement which 
includes the following:
    a. A statement of work describing the development of the prototype 
heavy vehicle communication and powering enhancement system(s). All 
phases of the system(s) development should be described in sufficient 
detail to demonstrate technical and administrative proficiency in each 
area of the project (e.g., vehicle communication and powering 
enhancement devices, assessing system performance, obtaining test 
vehicles, assembling the system hardware, etc.). Specific details on 
product development should be included; for example, a system requiring 
sensors should include information on whether those sensors are off-
the-shelf or are to be developed as part of the research effort.
    b. The proposed program director and other key personnel identified 
for participation in the proposed research effort, including a 
description of the project team and individual qualifications and their 
respective organizational responsibilities.
    c. A description of the test facilities and equipment currently 
available or to be obtained for use in conducting the proposed research 
    d. A description of the applicant's previous experience or on-going 
research programs that are related to this proposed research effort.
    e. A detailed schedule, and management plan for the proposed 
research effort, to include:
    1. A detailed task schedule, Gantt, or PERT chart to show the 
duration, relationship and sequencing of proposed tasks, sub tasks, 
project milestones, and project deliverables.
    2. A management plan that reflects the capability to direct and 
coordinate the project tasks and administrative activities among the 
team member organizations.
    f. A description of deliverables that will be provided to NHTSA 
during the project and upon completion of the research effort. This 
could include written reports, video tapes of computer simulations and/
or full-scale vehicle tests, test data, etc. Each deliverable should be 
identified as to whether it will be proprietary information or suitable 
for release in the public domain.
    g. A detailed statement of any technical assistance which the 
applicant may require of NHTSA in order to successfully complete the 
proposed research effort.

Application Review Process and Criteria

    Initially, all applications will be reviewed to confirm that the 
applicant is an eligible recipient and to ensure that the application 
contains all the information required by the Application Contents 
section of this notice.
    Each complete application from an eligible recipient will then be 
evaluated by a Technical Evaluation Committee. The applications will be 
evaluated using the following criteria:
    1. The technical merit of the proposal, including the applicant's 
understanding of the purpose and unique problems represented by the 
research objectives of this cooperative agreement program as evidenced 
in the description of their proposed project. The impact the proposed 
research effort will have on fostering development of commercially 
viable communication and powering enhancement systems for heavy 
vehicles will be evaluated. The technical merit of the proposed 
research effort, including the feasibility of approach, practicality, 
planned methodology, and anticipated results, will have the most weight 
of all evaluation factors. The proposal will be evaluated for 
demonstrated proficiency in each technical subject included in the 
    2. The adequacy and availability of relevant test facilities and 
equipment identified to accomplish the proposed research effort.
    3. The applicant's previous and current organizational experience 
and personnel qualifications as related to this effort.
    4. The completeness and clarity of the applicant's plan for 
accomplishing the proposed research will be evaluated. This includes 
the task schedule and proposed management plan needed to direct and 
coordinate identified project tasks.

Terms and Conditions of the Award

    1. Procedures for the protection of the rights and welfare of human 
subjects in NHTSA-sponsored experiments are set forth in NHTSA Orders 
700-1 and 700-3. Any recipient proposing the use of human subjects must 
satisfy the requirements and guidelines of the NHTSA Orders 700 series 
prior to award of the cooperative agreement. It is not anticipated that 
non-human subjects will be used in any testing performed under this 
cooperative agreement. A copy of the NHTSA Orders 700 series may be 
obtained from the administrative information contact designated in this 
    2. Prior to award, the recipient must comply with the certification 
requirements of 49 CFR Part 20--Department of Transportation New 
Restrictions on Lobbying and 49 CFR Part 29--Department of 
Transportation Government-wide Debarment and Suspension 
(Nonprocurement) and Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free 
Workplace (Grants).
    3. Each cooperative agreement will be negotiated to include 
provisions appropriate to organizational conflicts of interest, patent 
rights, rights in data, and copyright retention by the applicant. At 
the time of negotiation, applicants may be required to disclose all 
actual or apparent conflicts of interest.
    4. During the effective period of the cooperative agreement(s) 
awarded as a result of this notice, the agreement(s) shall be subject 
to NHTSA's General Provisions for Assistance Agreements, the cost 
principles of OMB Circular A-21, A-122, or FAR 31.2, as applicable to 
the recipient, and the requirements of 49 CFR Part 20 and Part 29. The 
agreement(s) shall also be subject to the general administrative 
requirements of 49 CFR Part 19-Department of Transportation Uniform 
Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions 
of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations as 
applicable to those organizations.
    5. Reporting Requirements:
    a. Research Progress Reports: The recipient shall provide bimonthly 
research progress reports which shall be due 15 days after the 
reporting period, and a final research report within 45 days after the 
completion of the research effort. An original and two copies of each 
of these research reports shall be submitted to the COTR.
    b. Oral Briefings: There shall be a start-up briefing held at the 
NHTSA Office of Crash Avoidance Research, Washington, DC within 15 days 
of initiation of the cooperative agreement. The recipient shall conduct 
semiannual oral presentations of research results for the COTR and 
other interested NHTSA personnel. An original and at least two copies 
of briefing materials shall be submitted to the COTR at the time of 
each briefing.

    Issued on: August 19, 1994.
George L. Parker,
Associate Administrator for Research and Development.
[FR Doc. 94-22389 Filed 9-9-94; 8:45 am]

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