The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking public comment about possibly permitting camera-based rear visibility systems to be used as an alternative to inside and outside rearview mirrors on heavy-duty vehicles.
Often referred to as camera monitor systems, NHTSA is considering allowing rearview cameras as a potential replacement for review mirrors on heavy duty trucks.
NHTSA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on the subject, responding to two petitions brought by Daimler Trucks North America and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in conjunction with Tesla, seeking permission to install a CMS in future vehicles.
NHTSA and other safety groups have been researching camera-based mirror replacements for several years and stated that it is seeking additional information because of safety-relevant performance issues that has been exhibited in prototype and preproduction CMS systems. For example, some drivers indicated that the glare produced from the system’s electronic displays was too bright and affected their vision, particularly at night.
The agency also would like more information on possible issues related to human factors, such as how well drivers may be able to acclimate to the use of a CMS and potentially different image locations. NHTSA hopes that the comments received in response to the ANPRM will provide the agency with more information to address these concerns.
In its petition, DTNA argued that a CMS can provide an expanded field of view and eliminate blind spots while achieving the same or better level of safety as outside review mirrors.
In order to allow camera-based systems to replace mirrors, NHTSA would have to amend rule FMVSS No. 111 which governs rear visibility in vehicles. The agency will be considering what industry stakeholders have to say before it makes any sort of rule change and the public comment period is open until Dec. 9, 2019.
To submit a formal comment and read all the details of NHTSA’s proposed rule, click here.