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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

Using Systems Modeling to Identify Impacts to FMCSRs from Emerging ADS Business Cases

Project Goal:

To develop a causal model that will identify the potential changes to CMV drivers' roles under different Level 4 and Level 5 automation scenarios, and how current FMCSA policies and regulations may or may not be affected.


Automation offers an opportunity to improve the safety and efficiency of the motor carrier industry. FMCSA needs to understand the opportunities and risks that automation may provide, so that it can conduct appropriate research to support future policy decisions. Success requires thinking broadly and using new analytical tools to consider how technology providers, carriers, consumers and regulators interact with each other; how that might change with the introduction of new technologies; what new business models might emerge; and how FMCSA might respond.


Using a system dynamics approach, this project will identify key causal relationships within the freight industry, linking entities such as automation providers, truck equipment integrators, motor carriers, purchasers of trucking services (shippers), and federal regulators, in the context of increased availability of automation and possible associated changes to the competitive structure of the industry. The precise scope of the causal model will be determined as part of the project. The model will provide a framework to identify the potential changes to CMV drivers’ roles under different Level 4 and Level 5 automation scenarios, and how current policies may or may not apply. A major deliverable will be this initial causal model linking key factors, along with recommendations regarding how FMCSA can best prepare for the future. The project supports the future effectiveness of the FMCSA R&T program through proactive modelling to identify future needed changes to the FMCSRs. The tasks laid out here help identify and support the innovative practices that are likely to have the greatest impact on the safety and performance of the nation’s transportation system.




Contractor: Volpe