Hazard Warning Devices for Automated CMVs
This is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program project involving the development and testing of a prototype system designed to autonomously deploy hazard warning devices for driverless, autonomous vehicles.
This project is currently in Phase II of the SBIR Program. The objective of a Phase II project is to continue the R/R&D effort from a completed Phase I project.
USDOT SBIR Phase II contracts are available only to small businesses that have successfully completed Phase I. Funding of a Phase II is based upon the results of Phase I, the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the Phase II proposal, and the availability of funding. Award information for this particular contract is available on the SBIR.gov website or via this link.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the operations of commercial motor vehicles and drivers through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Some of these regulations were written under the premise that each commercial motor vehicle is operated by driver in the cab. A few of these may pose unique issues for motor carriers operating autonomous, driverless vehicles.
One example is 49 CFR 392.22(b), which requires the deployment of hazard warning devices (e.g., triangles) within ten minutes of stopping on the shoulder or traveled portion of a highway. This task is straightforward for a driver, but as currently designed, driverless commercial motor vehicles are unable to handle the same task autonomously.
To ensure continued safety on public highways in the context of autonomous commercial motor vehicle operations, FMCSA is working to identify solutions to this problem. The Research Division recently completed the first phase of an SBIR project which demonstrated the feasibility of a system that, when incorporated in an autonomous vehicle, would automatically deploy hazard warning devices in the required pattern without human intervention.
The goal for the second phase of the project is to develop and test the performance of a prototype “Automated Marker Deployment for Autonomous Trucks” (AMDAT) system in a field demonstration representative of real-world driving scenarios.
This means building the system identified in the first phase of the project, implementing it in an operational commercial motor vehicle, and testing its ability to perform in typical scenarios encountered during operations on public highways.
The contractor will work closely with various parties, including FMCSA staff and automated vehicle developers, to ensure that the hazard warning device deployment system both performs the deployment function according to the requirements of the FMCSRs and can be feasibly implemented in automated vehicles.