Thursday, January 14, 2016


Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had received a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) from the DOT’s National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) on vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for this was published in August 2014.

The Fall 2015 Unified Agenda describes the rulemaking this way:

“V2V communications uses on-board dedicated short-range radio communication (DSRC) devices to broadcast messages about a vehicle's speed, heading, brake status, and other information to other vehicles and receive the same information from the messages, with extended range and "line-of-sight" capabilities. V2V's enhanced detection distance and ability to "see" around corners or "through" other vehicles helps V2V-equipped vehicles uniquely perceive some threats and warn their drivers accordingly. V2V technology can also be fused with vehicle-resident technologies to potentially provide greater benefits than either approach alone. V2V can augment vehicle-resident systems by acting as a complete system, extending the ability of the overall safety system to address other crash scenarios not covered by V2V communications, such as lane and road departure. Additionally, V2V communication is currently perceived to become a foundational aspect of vehicle automation.”

This rulemaking may be the first place that NHTSA attempts to address cybersecurity issues related to automobiles. Based upon questions asked in the ANPRM it certainly looks like NHTSA has been looking at this as a potential vehicle for vehicle cybersecurity regulations.

There were over 900 comments received on the ANPRM in 2014. Surprisingly, a large number of them were from private citizens objecting to V2V implementation because of perceived health issues associated with electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from the radio transmissions involved in the communications. It will be interesting to see how NHTSA deals with those comments in this NPRM.

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