The CVSA or the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has had their Annual Conference and Exhibition recently last month. And this was an inspection standard and procedure that had been designed to govern required inspections of trucks that would be equipped with automated driving systems, better known as (ADS.) It’s supposed to anticipate when autonomous trucks that can move without any human operator needing to monitor the system in-cab.
It’s known as enhanced inspection procedures. According to the CVSA President Major Chris Nordloh from the Texas Department of Public Safety. It’s all meant to “ensure high levels of safety and providing law enforcement with information to be confident on roadworthiness of autonomous trucks operating on our roadways.”
The modern-day weigh station/roadside inspection environments are specifically demanding enough for ADS-equipped vehicles. All according to the CVSA. Trucks however, are not very operational or compatible with the modern-day roadside enforcement inspections. This all relies on assistance from the driver with an officer present.
The Enhanced program substitutes would certify motor carrier personnel’s “point-of-origin inspections.” All in regards to pre-and post-trip inspections that would in themselves be conducted by the driver. Of course, this will establish a required 40-hour CVSA training course and exams for motor carrier personnel to conduct the inspections.
Trained motor carrier personnel will conduct the Enhanced CMV Inspection Procedure on specific ADS-equipped vehicles from the fleets at the point of origin before dispatch. The In-Transit Inspections from dictated interval through the trip entirely.
At least once on the road, the autonomous truck is in need of communicating to law enforcement, all while in the motion of passing through the origin/destination inspection, all while using automated driving systems can stop functioning. This can be operational within the design domain. These trucks are going to allow for fixed inspection sites. Regarding the announcement, the CVSA believes that there’ll be more discussions and development in addition to fine-tuning and re-testing.
So what are the rules of the CVSA, typically?
What you’ll notice is that there are eight levels of inspections all ranging from Level I Inspection, which can evaluate the driver and the vehicle all at once towards inspection levels with specific focus, like Level VI with radioactive materials, and Level VIII for electronic inspections.
North American Standard Level I, Level V and Level VI happen to be the few inspections that can result in issuance of CVSA decals placed upon the vehicle. Passing Level VI inspections may result in issuance of a special VI CVSA decal. In order to qualify for a CVSA decal, the vehicle can’t have any critical violations, all according to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.