Federal self-driving vehicle rules advance

Departments - Regulations

February 8, 2018

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is requesting public input on several proposals that could increase the number of autonomous vehicles on public roads. The agency is developing the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy (FAVP) 3.0, “A Vision for Safety 3.0.” It’s a series of rules and guidelines that could determine how technology companies and automakers incorporate technology into future vehicles.

“Autonomous vehicle technologies will have a tremendous impact on society in terms of safety, mobility, and security,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao says. “Policy makers need to preserve the creativity and innovation that is part of the American tradition and allow innovation to flourish.”

FAVP 3.0 will emphasize a unified, intermodal approach to automated driving systems (ADS) policy. It will enable the safe integration of surface automated transportation systems, including cars, trucks, light rail, infrastructure, and port operations.

Autonomous driving policies and proposals have been scattered throughout federal agencies and between different technical issues within individual agencies. Chao’s office has consolidated the various policy proposals on one DOT website, making it easier for interested parties to participate in public comments.


Regulators certify Cummins Westport’s natural gas commercial truck engine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) have certified the emissions levels of Cummins Westport’s 2018 ISX12N natural gas commercial truck engine.

The ISX12N meets CARB’s optional Low NOx standard of 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr), a 90% reduction from engines operating at the EPA NOx limit of 0.2g/bhp-hr. The ISX12N also meets 2017 EPA greenhouse gas emission (GHG) requirements. The ISX12N is the first Class 8 truck engine for larger heavy-duty vehicles to certify to the 0.02g/bhp-hr optional standard.

ISX12N natural gas engines will be available with ratings from 320hp to 400hp and up to 1,450 lb-ft of peak torque. The ISX12N is designed for line haul, regional haul, refuse, and vocational trucks. Production will begin in February 2018.

ISX engines offer customers the choice of using compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), or renewable natural gas (RNG) as a fuel. RNG is pipeline-quality natural gas produced from the decomposition of organic waste, which can come from dairy farms, landfills, and urban waste treatment plants.