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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Development of On-Road Driving Performance Evaluation Methods for ADS-equipped Heavy Vehicles


Project Goal:

The overall goal of the project is to develop, demonstrate and fully document the specifications and procedures for an automated and objective on-road driving performance evaluation procedure that can be applied to automated driving systems (ADS)-equipped tractor-trailer combination vehicles as well as class 3-6 straight trucks.


CMVs equipped with automated driving systems are being developed and tested throughout the United States. While the vast majority of such testing is conducted with a human “safety driver” behind the wheel, there have been some limited “human-out” demonstration of ADS CMVs on public roads1. Some motor freight industry journals as well as ADS developers are forecasting commercial deployments as early as 2024.2
FMCSA is charged with implementation and management of regulations, policies, and other oversight activities to promote the safe operation of CMVs by interstate carriers.3 For example, FMCSA develops minimum criteria for driver skills tests and other requirements and criteria associated with obtaining a commercial driver’s license. State departments-of-motor-vehicles (DMVs) use FMCSA’s guidance to inform their own CDL testing and oversight programs.


In support of its mission to provide safety oversight of interstate CMV operations, and recognizing the emergence of ADS CMVs, FMCSA is interested in developing methods for evaluating the on-road driving performance of such vehicles—with an emphasis on automated, objective, and practical methods.