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Apr 2022

The NHTSA Removing Requirements for Manual Driving Controls in Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

NHTSA issued a Final Rule (FR) in the March 30, 2022 Federal Register (Vol 87, No 61; NHTSA 2021- 0003) that removes some requirements for Occupant Protection on Vehicles with Automated Driving Systems (ADS). Automotive manufacturers have had to deal with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) that were issued decades prior to automated vehicle technology. The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary has indicated that a part of their mission is to keep pace with the development of automated driving and driver assistance systems. The FR indicates that the AVs must continue to provide the same levels of occupant protection that is expected from current passenger vehicles. The FR is limited to the crashworthiness standards to provide a unified set of regulatory text applicable to vehicles with and without ADS.

The Final Rule is effective September 26, 2022 with optional early compliance allowed. Petitions for Reconsideration are due on or before May 16, 2022.

The FR is included in the InterRegs.NET for US Federal subscribers as well as at