Friday, July 3, 2015

HR 2886 Introduced – V2V Research

Last week Rep. Lipinski (D,IL) introduced HR 2886, the Future Transportation Research and Innovation for Prosperity (Future TRIP) Act. This is a comprehensive bill establishing research requirements for the Department of Transportation to support the development, deployment and regulation of vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications.

The bill covers a wide variety of topics, including:

Automated and connected vehicle research initiative.
University transportation centers program.
Office of science and technology policy working group.
Research and technology development and deployment amendments.
State planning and research additional purposes.
Bureau of transportation statistics.
National cooperative freight transportation research program.
Commercial remote sensing products and spatial information technologies.
Transportation research and development strategic planning.
Centers for surface transportation excellence.

Readers of this blog are going to be principally interested in two areas of discussion that are found within this bill; cybersecurity and hazmat transportation.


Section 2 of the bill requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish an Automated and Connected Vehicle Research Initiative. Part of the research agenda for that initiative would be a requirement to look at potential deployment guidance for the V2V program. The section directs that cyber-physical security would be included in that guidance.

In §2(h) the Secretary is directed to “establish a competitively selected Intelligent Transportation Systems Science & Technology Center”. Part of the purpose of that Center would be to train “the next generation of the transportation workforce” {§2(h)(3)}in cross-disciplinary fields, including cybersecurity.

And finally, in §2(i) the bill requires the Secretary to report to Congress about progress made under this Act. One of the topics in that report would be guidance on “the relationship of the proposed deployment of connected and automated vehicles to the national architecture and standards and protocols” required under 23 USC 517 {§2(i)(4)}. That guidance is to be based upon:

Cyber-physical security and privacy; and
Examines the interaction with other cyber-physical systems

Hazmat Transportation

One of the key goals of the V2V program envisioned in this bill it an increase in efficiency in road-based freight transportation by being able to safely increase the density and flow of over-the-road transportation. To support that §8 of the bill would add a new §509 to 23 USC. It would require the Secretary to establish a national cooperative freight transportation research program. The research agenda supporting that program would include “an emphasis on the safe and efficient transportation and handling of hazardous materials by all modes of transportation” {new §509(b)(1)(A)}.

Moving Forward

Lipinski is the Ranking Member of the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, so he almost certainly has the pull to get the bill considered by that Subcommittee. Interestingly, he is also a member of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the other Committee that has been given the bill to consider. It looks like he may be uniquely positioned to help move this bill through both committees.

This is a complex bill but one that is probably high on the agenda for many organizations in the automotive industry. This is one of those bills that, if it makes it to the floor of the House (and that is not a given at this point) it will probably have to be considered under a Rule as I would suspect that there would be a desire to amend the bill on the part of a number of Members.


While the topic of cybersecurity is mentioned in a number of places in this bill, I’m not sure that there is really enough emphasis on the topic. For example, in the list of agencies with which the Secretary is required to consult with in establishing the Research Initiative in §2, an agency that is strangely absent is DHS which is responsible for cybersecurity. I would really like to see either US-CERT, ICS-CERT or at least the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications included on that list.

Because cybersecurity should be an important component of the V2V initiative I would have liked to see a specific research initiative set up to look at the issues of communications security, device security and most importantly cybersecurity patching. It is unlikely that individual car owners would be watching government web sites for vulnerability announcements and most would be unable (and more over un-willing) to deal with firmware updates. This is a study issue that should be addressed in this bill.

In the freight transportation realm we have an interesting possibility of being able to solve one of the long standing problems for first responders coming upon a freight related accident, telling what hazardous materials may be involved in the incident. It would be a good idea to include in the freight transportation research program a requirement to look at using V2V technology to provide manifest and Safety Data Sheet data to first responders directly from the vehicle communication system.

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