[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 66 (Monday, April 7, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19177-19250]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07469]



[[Page 19177]]

Vol. 79

Monday,

No. 66

April 7, 2014

Part II





Department of Transportation





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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration





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49 CFR Part 571





Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rear Visibility; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 66 / Monday, April 7, 2014 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 19178]]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162]
RIN 2127-AK43


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rear Visibility

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: To reduce the risk of devastating backover crashes involving 
vulnerable populations (including very young children) and to satisfy 
the mandate of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 
2007, NHTSA is issuing this final rule to expand the required field of 
view for all passenger cars, trucks, multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
buses, and low-speed vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of less than 
10,000 pounds. The agency anticipates that today's final rule will 
significantly reduce backover crashes involving children, persons with 
disabilities, the elderly, and other pedestrians who currently have the 
highest risk associated with backover crashes. Specifically, today's 
final rule specifies an area behind the vehicle which must be visible 
to the driver when the vehicle is placed into reverse and other related 
performance requirements. The agency anticipates that, in the near 
term, vehicle manufacturers will use rearview video systems and in-
vehicle visual displays to meet the requirements of this final rule.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective June 6, 2014.
    Compliance Date: Compliance is required, in accordance with the 
phase-in schedule, beginning on May 1, 2016. Full compliance is 
required on May 1, 2018.
    Petitions for reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of 
this final rule must be received not later than May 22, 2014.
    Incorporation by Reference: The incorporation by reference of 
certain publications listed in the standard is approved by the Director 
of the Federal Register as of June 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must refer 
to the docket and notice number set forth above and be submitted to the 
Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For technical issues: Mr. Markus Price, Office of Vehicle Rulemaking, 
Telephone: 202-366-0098, Facsimile: 202-366-7002, NVS-121.
For legal issues: Mr. Jesse Chang, Office of the Chief Counsel, 
Telephone: 202-366-2992, Facsimile: 202-366-3820, NCC-112.

    The mailing address for these officials is: National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary
II. Background and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
    a. Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act and 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act
    b. Safety Problem
    c. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
    d. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
    e. Summary of Comments on the NPRM
    f. Public Hearing and Workshop
    g. Additional 2012 Research
    h. Additional SCI Case Analysis
    i. Updates to NCAP
III. Final Rule and Response to Comments
    a. Summary of the Final Rule
    b. Applicability
    c. Alternative Countermeasures
    d. Field of View
    e. Image Size
    f. Test Procedure
    g. Linger Time, Deactivation, and Backing Event
    h. Image Response Time
    i. Display Luminance
    j. Durability Testing
    k. Phase-In
    l. Remaining Issues
    m. Effective Date
IV. Estimated Costs and Benefits
    a. System Effectiveness
    b. Benefits
    c. Costs
    d. Market Adoption Rate
    e. Net Impact
    f. Cost Effectiveness and Regulatory Alternatives
V. Regulatory Analyses
VI. Regulatory Text

I. Executive Summary

    The Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007 
(``K.T. Safety Act'' or ``the Act'') directs this agency to amend 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 111 \1\ ``to expand 
the required field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to 
detect areas behind the motor vehicle to reduce death and injury 
resulting from backing incidents, particularly incidents involving 
small children and disabled persons.'' \2\ In other words, the K.T. 
Safety Act requires that this agency conduct a rulemaking to amend 
FMVSS No. 111 in a manner so as to address a safety risk identified by 
Congress in the Act--namely, the risk of death and injury that can 
result from backover crashes. Further, the language chosen by Congress 
particularly directs the agency to consider crashes involving children 
and persons with disabilities.
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    \1\ FMVSS No. 111, currently titled ``Rearview mirrors'' is 
renamed by today's final rule as ``Rear visibility.''
    \2\ Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, 
(Public Law 110-189, 122 Stat. 639-642), Sec.  4 (2007).
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    With some variations, the requirements in today's final rule 
generally adopt the requirements proposed in the NPRM that expand the 
required field of view in FMVSS No. 111 to include a 10-foot by 20-foot 
zone directly behind the vehicle.\3\ Today's final rule applies these 
requirements to all passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, and low-speed 
vehicles \4\, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 
pounds or less. Given the currently available information regarding the 
backover safety risk, the available backing aid technologies, etc., the 
agency believes that systems fulfilling the requirements adopted by 
today's final rule are the most effective and the most cost-effective 
systems available for meeting the safety need specified in the K.T. 
Safety Act. We believe that the systems meeting the requirements of 
today's rule also afford the best protection to children and persons 
with disabilities.
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    \3\ Prior to adoption of today's rule, the required field of 
view for passenger vehicles specified that these vehicles have an 
inside rearview mirror that provides a view from 61 meters behind 
the vehicle to the horizon. Multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks 
and buses with a GVRW of 4,536 kg or less may certify to the 
passenger car requirements or provide large planar outside mirrors 
on both the driver's side as well as the passenger's side that 
provide a view to the rear along the sides of the vehicle. Passenger 
cars are required to have a planar outside mirror on the driver's 
side that provides a view to the rear along the side of the vehicle. 
This rule does not change these field of view requirements from 
FMVSS No. 111, but adds additional requirements.
    \4\ A low-speed vehicle is defined as a 4-wheeled vehicle, with 
a GVWR of less than 3000 lbs, and whose speed attainable in 1 mile 
on a paved level surface is greater than 20 mph and no greater than 
25 mph. See 49 CFR Part 571.3. Like all other vehicle types covered 
under today's final rule, LSVs are required to provide the driver 
with a rearview image meeting the requirements specified in the 
regulatory text at the end of this document regardless of whether 
the vehicle has any significant blind zone. However, like other 
manufacturers, low-speed vehicle manufacturers can petition NHTSA 
for an exemption or for rulemaking. The issue of how today's final 
rule applies to LSVs is discussed in further detail in Section III. 
b. Applicability, below.

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[[Page 19179]]

Available Information Continues to Show that the NPRM Approach is the 
Best Approach

    After the proposed rule, the agency received public comments 
through two separate comment periods and two public meetings. Further, 
the agency conducted additional research to ensure that the analysis 
supporting today's final rule is robust. While a significant amount of 
information has been obtained since the NPRM, none of the additional 
information supports the agency departing from the general approach 
proposed in the NPRM. The additional information is useful because it 
enables the agency to refine its understanding of the technical 
capabilities of the manufacturers to meet the requirements of today's 
rule and the relevant costs/benefits of today's rule. Nonetheless, 
among the various types of rear visibility systems available for study, 
agency testing and other currently available information support the 
following claims:
    (1) Drivers using rear visibility systems meeting the field of view 
requirements of today's final rule avoid crashes with an unexpected 
test object at a statistically significant higher rate than drivers 
using the standard complement of vehicle equipment.
    (2) Such systems (e.g., rearview video systems) consistently 
outperform other rear visibility systems (e.g., sensors-only or mirror 
systems) due to a variety of technical and driver-use limitations in 
those other systems.
    (3) Rear visibility systems meeting the requirements of today's 
rule are the only systems that can meet the need for safety specified 
by Congress in the K.T. Safety Act (the backover crash risk) because 
the other systems afford little or no measureable safety benefit.
    (4) Systems meeting the requirements of today's final rule are not 
only the most effective system at addressing the backover crash risk 
but also the most cost-effective.
    Thus, NHTSA's believes that the rear visibility system requirements 
in today's final rule (expanding the required field of view to include 
the 20-foot by 10-foot zone immediately behind the vehicle) are the 
only method for addressing the backover safety risk identified in the 
K.T. Safety Act that is rationally supported by the totality of the 
available data.

Recent Market Developments Have Substantially Reduced Costs

    The agency's latest analysis has shown that 73% of vehicles covered 
under today's final rule will be sold with rearview video systems by 
2018. This new development in the market means that today's rule will 
require less change to the market than we had previously anticipated. 
Assuming the 73% market adoption rate, it would cost $546 to $620 
million to equip the remaining 27% of vehicles in 2018 without a rear 
visibility system. Those systems would also produce $265 to $396 
million in monetized benefits.
    While we have data to demonstrate what we predict will be the state 
of the market in 2018, we are unable to determine with any reasonable 
certainty the precise extent to which other potential events (e.g., the 
K.T. Safety Act and the rulemaking process) beyond ``pure market 
forces'' might also be a factor. However, in order to reflect this 
uncertainty in estimating the likely benefits and costs, NHTSA 
considered different methods for establishing a baseline market 
adoption rate of rear visibility systems. The purpose of this analysis 
was to capture, in addition to the effects of issuing this final rule, 
the potential effects of the K.T. Safety Act (and the rulemaking 
process mandated by the Act) upon the rearview video system market 
adoption. While assessing different alternative baselines is useful in 
estimating these different market scenarios, all of these analyses 
continue to show that the approach adopted in today's final rule is the 
best approach for addressing the backover safety problem.
    Accordingly, we have developed an analysis that presents a range of 
both the benefits and costs of this rule based on a range of adoption 
rates. At the top-end of the range of adoption rates is the assumption 
that all current and projected installations are due purely to market 
forces, meaning that 73% of the new vehicle fleet will be equipped with 
rearview video systems by 2018. At the low-end of the range of adoption 
rates, we adopt the assumption that half of the increase in the market 
adoption trend as a result of the data from MY2014 is attributable to 
``pure market forces'' and half is not.\5\ Assuming these top and low 
end estimated adoption trends, the market adoption attributable to 
``pure market demand'' in 2018 would be between 59% and 73%. Assuming 
this range of market adoption, $546 million to $924 million in costs 
and $265 million to $595 million in monetized benefits are attributable 
to the final rule, the rulemaking process, and the K.T. Safety Act.
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    \5\ Further information about these alternative baselines is 
available in the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis accompanying this 
document in the docket referenced at the beginning of this document.

                Table 1--Estimated Costs and Benefits Under 59% and 73% Market Adoption Scenarios
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                                                                      73% Adoption             59% Adoption
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Annual Benefits (2010 $)......................................         $265 M to $396 M         $398 M to $595 M
Annual Costs (2010 $).........................................         $546 M to $620 M         $827 M to $924 M
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    As described in detail, below, and in the Final Regulatory Impact 
Analysis (FRIA), the agency believes that the top-end assumption is 
both more likely than the low end (given the strong market incentives 
in providing rearview video systems) and presents a better picture of 
the results of issuing today's final rule. Accordingly, for ease of 
presentation, the discussions of the costs and benefits presented both 
in this preamble and the FRIA present only those numbers associated 
with this assumption. However, the agency does present detailed 
information concerning the costs and benefits of the low-end assumption 
in Section IV. D. of this preamble and (in more detail) Chapter VIII. 
D. of the FRIA.

Benefits Are Expected To Be Substantial

    This rule is expected to decrease the risks to children, persons 
with disabilities, and other pedestrians from being injured or killed 
in a backover crash. Backover crashes are specifically defined as 
crashes where non-occupants of vehicles (such as pedestrians or 
cyclists) are struck by vehicles moving in reverse. Our assessment of 
available safety data indicates that (on average) there are 267 
fatalities and 15,000 injuries (6,000 of which are incapacitating \6\) 
resulting from backover

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crashes every year. Of those, 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries \7\ 
are attributable to backover crashes involving light vehicles 
(passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs), trucks, buses, 
and low-speed vehicles) with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. Further, 
the agency has found that children and elderly adults are 
disproportionately affected by backover crashes. Our data indicate that 
children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of the fatalities 
each year, and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26 percent.
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    \6\ The Manual on Classification of Motor Vehicle Traffic 
Accidents (ANSI D16.1) defines ``incapacitating injury'' as ``any 
injury, other than a fatal injury, which prevents the injured person 
from walking, driving or normally continuing the activities the 
person was capable of performing before the injury occurred'' 
(Section 2.3.4)
    \7\ Due to rounding, injuries for light vehicles and all 
vehicles are estimated to be 15,000.
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    Rear visibility systems meeting the requirements of today's final 
rule are predicted to have an effectiveness of between 28 and 33 
percent--substantially higher than other systems (e.g., sensor-only 
systems) that are currently available. Applying that estimated 
effectiveness to the latest information on the target population, the 
aforementioned systems are expected to save 58 to 69 lives each year 
(not including injuries prevented) once the entire on road vehicle 
fleet is equipped with systems meeting today's rules requirements 
(anticipated by approximately 2054).\8\ However, because our latest 
information indicates that as much as 73% of new vehicles sold will 
have rearview video systems by 2018, the lives saved and injuries 
prevented by equipping the remaining 27% of vehicles are approximately 
a quarter of this total. Thus, we believe that there will still be 13-
15 fatalities and 1,125-1,332 injuries prevented annually that are a 
result of equipping the remaining 27% of vehicles that we do not 
anticipate will have rear visibility systems by 2018.\9\ While our 
estimated annual benefits, beginning in model year 2018, will not be 
fully realized until 2054, they will increase over time from the phase-
in date as vehicles with these systems continue to make up an 
increasing percentage of the overall vehicle fleet. Taking into account 
that a larger portion of miles traveled by a given model year is 
achieved early in the overall life of that model year, we estimate that 
roughly two thirds of the lifetime benefits for MY2018 will be realized 
by 2028.
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    \8\ Like all new safety standards, benefits realized from these 
systems will rise steadily in proportion to the increase of new 
vehicles meeting the requirements adopted today within the vehicle 
fleet operating on the public roads. In other words, as new vehicles 
meeting the new standard replace older vehicles, more vehicles 
operating on the road will have the new safety countermeasure and 
more benefits will be realized. As with all standards, it takes time 
to replace the whole vehicle fleet. While the full rate of annual 
anticipated benefits will likely not be realized until 2054, the 
rate of annual benefits will rise each year commensurate with new 
vehicle sales and the proportion of the miles traveled in those new 
vehicles.
    \9\ This figure shows the incremental lives saved and injuries 
prevented by equipping the remaining 27% of vehicles that are not 
projected to have rear visibility systems in 2018. It compares what 
the data show will be the market position for adoption of rearview 
video systems by 2018 and the 100% compliance requirement in 2018 
(established by today's final rule). Because this figure measures 
what we project the market would (in fact) be in 2018, it does not 
account for any potential market adoption that is attributable to 
manufacturers responding to events that are unrelated to ``pure 
market forces'' (e.g., the passage of the K.T. Safety Act or this 
rulemaking process). As further explained below, there are a number 
of reasons why it is especially difficult in the case of this rule 
to quantify the market adoption that is attributable to the K.T. 
Safety Act or this rulemaking process. However, we acknowledge that 
these events may have had an effect on the market adoption of 
rearview video systems and we have attempted to capture this 
potential effect below in section IV. Estimated Costs and Benefits.

             Table 2--Estimated Annual Quantifiable Benefits
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------------------------------------------------------------------------
Benefits
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Fatalities Reduced.....................  13 to 15.
Injuries Reduced.......................  1,125 to 1,332.
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    In addition to the fatalities and injuries prevented, systems 
meeting today's final rule are expected to yield benefits over the 
lifetime of the vehicle as a result of avoiding property damage. While 
damage to rear visibility systems are a potential source of additional 
repair cost as a result of rear-end collisions, the agency calculates 
that these costs will be offset by the benefits realized by vehicle 
owners as a result of avoiding property-damage-only backing collisions 
and yield a net benefit \10\ between $10 and $13 per vehicle (over the 
lifetime of the vehicle). In monetary terms, the benefits that are a 
result from issuing today's final rule (i.e., not counting the systems 
already being installed by the automakers) are expected to be between 
$265 and $396 million annually when considering both fatalities/
injuries prevented and the property-damage-only collisions avoided.
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    \10\ This ``net benefit'' is a comparison between the cost of 
repairing/replacing damaged rear visibility systems and the benefit 
of avoiding property damage-only crashes. The costs of the rear 
visibility system and other benefits of these systems are not taken 
into account in this ``net benefit.''
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    As the agency is conscious of the costs of today's rule and the 
costs of rear visibility systems in general, the agency has made every 
effort to ensure that the benefits of today's rule are as accurately 
estimated as possible. Thus, various new pieces of information have 
been incorporated into the analysis in today's final rule that lead to 
different benefits estimates from those in the NPRM. The major 
differences include a more refined target population estimate, updated 
voluntary installation rate information, and more refined system 
effectiveness estimates. As explained further in this document, 
additional data from our crash databases \11\ enabled the agency to 
more accurately estimate the size of the target population by sampling 
a greater number of years of data. Further, new data regarding the rate 
of adoption of rear visibility systems has enabled the agency to 
project the rate of adoption through the first full compliance year in 
today's rule. Finally, the agency was able to conduct additional 
research since the NPRM to further examine driver use of rear 
visibility systems by examining a wider range of driver demographics 
and an additional vehicle type. The additional research adds to the 
robustness of the agency's analysis of rear visibility system 
effectiveness through a larger sampling of research participants. While 
none of the aforementioned new information creates a rational basis for 
the agency to alter its decision from the NPRM in any significant 
fashion, the agency believes that it was prudent to ensure that the 
benefits of today's rule are estimated as accurately as possible due to 
the costs of this rulemaking required under the K.T. Safety Act. The 
available information continues to show that rear visibility systems 
meeting the requirements of this rule are the most effective (and the 
most cost-effective) systems at addressing the backover safety problem.
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    \11\ The updates that we have incorporated into our analysis 
include updates to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 
the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System 
(NASS-GES), and the Not-in-Traffic Surveillance (NiTS) system.
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    Further, the agency notes that there continue to be substantial 
benefits of this rule that are not easily quantifiable in monetary 
terms. The agency recognizes that victims of backover crashes are 
frequently the most vulnerable members of our society (such as young 
children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities). As these persons 
often have special mobility needs or are too young to adequately 
comprehend danger, it seems unlikely that solutions such as increased 
public awareness or audible backing warnings will be sufficient to 
prevent the safety risk of backover crashes. Further, the agency 
recognizes that most people place a high value on the lives of

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children and that there is a general consensus regarding the need to 
protect children as they are unable to protect themselves. As backover 
crash victims are often struck by their immediate family members or 
caretakers, it is the Department's opinion that an exceptionally high 
emotional cost, not easily convertible to monetary equivalents, is 
often inflicted upon the families of backover crash victims.

Costs of Today's Final Rule

    The agency acknowledges that the costs of today's rule are 
significant. We anticipate rear visibility systems will cost 
approximately $43 to $45 for vehicles already equipped with a suitable 
visual display and between $132 and $142 for all other vehicles. 
Accordingly, based on an annual new vehicle fleet of 16.0 million 
vehicles and considering the number of vehicles we anticipate will 
already have rear visibility systems by 2018, we believe the costs 
attributable to equipping the remaining 27% of vehicles (that are not 
projected to have rear visibility systems in 2018) will range from $546 
to $620 million annually.\12\
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    \12\ We note that the costs to low-speed vehicles are a small 
portion (less than 1%) of the vehicle fleet sales each year. We have 
assumed that the costs to low-speed vehicles to comply with the 
requirements of today's final rule are the same as other vehicles 
and taken those costs into account in this estimate.

                  Table 3--Estimated Installation Costs
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------------------------------------------------------------------------
Costs (2010 $)
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Full system installation per         $132 to $142.
 vehicle.
Camera-only installation per         $43 to $45.
 vehicle.
Total Fleet........................  $546 M to $620 M.
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    In addition to taking steps to ensure that the benefits of today's 
rule are accurately estimated, the agency also took steps to ensure 
that the estimated costs of this rule are accurate. Most importantly, 
two pieces of additional information have enabled the agency to arrive 
at a more refined estimate of the costs of today's rule that differ 
from the NPRM. First, the agency has a more robust estimate of the per 
unit costs of rear visibility systems meeting the requirements of 
today's rule because the agency performed a tear down study that 
analyzed the ``bolt-by-bolt'' costs of rear visibility systems and the 
agency incorporated an analysis of the production savings that occur 
over time due to efficiencies in the manufacturing process and 
increases in volume. Second, the aforementioned updated adoption rate 
of rear visibility systems has been incorporated not only in our 
analysis of the benefits but also of the costs of today's rule. Based 
on the aforementioned revised estimates for costs and benefits, the net 
cost per equivalent life saved for rear visibility systems meeting the 
requirements of today's final rule ranges from $15.9 to $26.3 million.

                  Table 4--Estimated Cost Effectiveness
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------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost per Equivalent Life Saved
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Rearview Video Systems............  $15.9 to $26.3 million *.
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* The range presented is from a 3% to 7% discount rate.


  Table 5--Summary of Benefits and Costs Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (Millions 2010$) MY2018 and Thereafter
                                                      \13\
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                                                      Primary                                      Discount rate
                    Benefits                         estimate      Low estimate    High estimate        (%)
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Lifetime Monetized..............................            $265            $305            $305               7
Lifetime Monetized..............................            $344            $396            $396               3
Costs:
    Lifetime Monetized..........................            $546            $620            $557               7
    Lifetime Monetized..........................            $546            $620            $557               3
Net Impact:
    Lifetime Monetized..........................           -$281           -$315           -$252               7
    Lifetime Monetized..........................           -$202           -$224           -$161               3
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This Rule is the Least Costly Rule that Meets the Requirements of the 
K.T. Safety Act
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    \13\ The different estimates in this chart show some of the 
different potential technology options. The Primary Estimate is the 
lowest installation cost option (which assumes manufacturers will 
use a 130[deg] camera and will utilize any existing display units 
already offered in their vehicles). The Low Estimate and High 
Estimate provide the estimated minimum and maximum net impacts 
possible. The Low Estimate is the 180[deg] camera and assumes that 
manufacturers will install a new display to meet the requirements of 
today's rule. It represents the minimum overall benefit estimate as 
it has the largest negative net impact. Conversely, the High 
Estimate is the 180[deg] camera and assumes that manufacturers that 
currently offer vehicles with display units are able and choose to 
use those existing display units to meet the requirements of today's 
rule. This represents the maximum overall benefit estimate because 
it has the smallest negative net impact.
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    Throughout this rulemaking process, the agency has been sensitive 
to the costs of today's rule and has sought to ensure that the 
requirements adopted impose the least amount of regulatory burden on 
the economy while still achieving Congress' goal of reducing fatalities 
and injuries resulting from backover crashes. Thus, through the 
information received by the agency through the comment periods and 
public workshops, the agency has explored and adopted various methods 
in order to avoid imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens on the 
industry and to afford as much flexibility as possible.
Phase-in Schedule
    To that end, today's final rule establishes a flexible phase-in 
schedule that affords the manufacturers the maximum amount of time 
permitted by the K.T. Safety Act to achieve full compliance (48 months 
after the publication of this rule). The phase-in schedule established 
by today's rule, excluding small volume and multi-stage manufacturers, 
is as follows:
     0% of the vehicles manufactured before May 1, 2016;
     10% of the vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2016, 
and before May 1, 2017;
     40% of the vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2017, 
and before May 1, 2018; and
     100% of the vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 
2018.\14\
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    \14\ As further discussed below, the latest data show that the 
adoption rate of rearview video systems has increased significantly 
in recent years. As a result, we anticipate that many manufacturers 
will be able to meet the phase-in schedule with little adjustment to 
their current manufacturing plans.

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[[Page 19182]]

    In addition to affording manufacturers the maximum amount of time 
permitted under the K.T. Safety Act to achieve full compliance, the 
agency adopts the back-loaded phase-in schedule proposed in the NPRM 
and does not separately evaluate light trucks and passenger cars for 
the purposes of the phase-in in order to further increase flexibility.
    Further, the agency learned from the comments that, while the 
rearview video systems currently used by manufacturers are able to meet 
most of the requirements established in today's rule, they may not meet 
the entire set of requirements beyond the field of view requirements 
including the image size, linger time, response time, durability, and 
deactivation requirements. While the agency continues to believe that 
those requirements are essential in ensuring the quality of rear 
visibility systems in the long run, today's final rule does not require 
that manufacturers comply with the requirements beyond the field of 
view for purposes of the phase-in period. In making this decision, the 
agency notes that the estimated benefits from the NPRM would not be 
significantly affected by the delayed phase-in of certain requirements, 
as those estimates were based on research conducted using rear 
visibility systems that were not designed to conform to all of the 
aforementioned performance requirements. In addition, we have 
considered the significant additional costs in compelling manufacturers 
to conduct equipment redesigns outside of the normal product design 
cycle. In order to avoid significantly increasing the cost of this rule 
and to enable manufacturers to focus resources, instead, on deploying 
rear visibility systems in a greater number of vehicles in the near 
term, today's final rule delays the aforementioned requirements until 
the end of the 48 month phase-in period.
Response Time Test Procedure and the ``Backing Event''
    As with the phase-in schedule, the agency received various comments 
regarding the timing of the presentation of the rearview image to the 
driver that suggested approaches that would tend to decrease the costs 
and increase flexibility for manufacturers while still preserving 
ability of the required rear visibility systems to address the backover 
safety problem. While today's rule adopts the proposal from the NPRM 
requiring rear visibility systems to display an image of the required 
field of view to the driver within 2.0 seconds after the driver places 
the vehicle in the reverse direction, the agency learned through the 
comments received that this requirement can be more burdensome for 
manufacturers if the system response time is tested immediately after 
the vehicle is started. Thus, as described further in this document, 
the agency has adopted a test procedure in today's final rule to 
condition the vehicle prior to evaluating rear visibility system 
response time. As this test procedure is based on the available data on 
real world driving conditions, the procedure affords manufacturers 
additional flexibility to design the initialization process for their 
rear visibility systems while still ensuring that the required rearview 
image is available at a time that is useful to a driver conducting 
backing maneuvers.
    Further, today's final rule adopts a ``backing event'' definition 
in order to afford manufacturers additional design flexibility while 
still addressing the safety concerns that the agency intended to 
address with the proposed linger time and deactivation requirements in 
the NPRM. As further described in this document, the agency proposed 
linger time and deactivation requirements in the NPRM in order to 
ensure that the required rearview image is available to the driver at 
the appropriate time without becoming a distraction at an inappropriate 
time. Through the comments, the agency learned that the relatively 
inflexible linger time and deactivation requirements proposed in the 
NPRM could inhibit other safety and convenience features from being 
implemented by manufacturers (e.g., views designed to assist trailer 
hitching, parking, etc.). Thus, today's final rule adopts a definition 
of ``backing event'' and uses this definition to establish the points 
in time that the rearview image is required to be presented to the 
driver while still affording manufacturers the flexibility to implement 
additional safety and convenience features for the drivers.
Durability Testing and Luminance Requirements
    Finally, the agency also modified the durability requirements to 
apply on a component level and did not adopt the luminance requirements 
to avoid imposing unnecessary testing burdens on the manufacturers 
where such burdens were not likely to produce a corresponding safety 
benefit. Through the comments received, the agency learned that 
ensuring a minimum level of durability of rear visibility system 
components can be achieved through component level testing rather than 
testing at the vehicle level. Further, the agency learned that 
luminance requirements alone would not ensure the quality of the image 
provided to the driver and would instead unnecessarily restrict the 
technologies that manufacturers can use to present the required 
rearview image to the driver. Thus, as further discussed in this 
document, the agency adopts the durability requirements from the NPRM 
at a component level and does not adopt the luminance requirements in 
today's final rule.

Other Methods to Reduce Costs and Increase Flexibility Do Not Fulfill 
the K.T. Safety Act

    While the agency has made the aforementioned changes to the 
requirements proposed in the NPRM that are aimed at reducing costs 
while still preserving the safety benefits of today's rule, other 
methods to reduce costs that were explored (or suggested in the 
comments received) are not adopted in today's final rule because they 
do not meet the need for safety (and do not meet the requirements of 
the K.T. Safety Act).
Requiring a Lower-Cost Countermeasure or Utilizing More Performance-
Oriented Standards
    Throughout this rulemaking process, the agency has explored various 
countermeasure technologies and evaluated their ability to address the 
backover safety problem as required by the K.T. Safety Act. The agency 
conducted research to evaluate the effectiveness of various currently 
available technologies including additional mirrors, reverse sensors, 
and rearview video systems. After extensive testing, the agency 
concluded that drivers require the ability to see the area directly 
behind the vehicle in order to successfully avoid striking a pedestrian 
or an unexpected obstacle. In other words, rear visibility systems 
meeting the requirements of today's rule are the only currently 
available systems that can meet the need for safety specified by 
Congress in the K.T. Safety Act (backover crashes). The agency arrived 
at this conclusion after observing in our research that sensor-only 
systems have various technical limitations that lead to inconsistent 
object detection and that drivers with sensor-only systems generally 
either failed to respond to the sensor system's audio warning, or 
paused only momentarily before resuming the backing maneuver. Further, 
our research indicates that drivers were unable to avoid targets behind 
the vehicle when assisted with additional rear-mounted mirrors such as 
rear convex ``look-down'' or cross-view mirrors. We concluded that the 
limited field of view and significant distortion/

[[Page 19183]]

minification in such mirrors prevent drivers from successfully 
detecting and avoiding targets behind the vehicle. As these sensor-only 
and mirror-based rear visibility systems have demonstrated little to no 
success in inducing drivers to stop a backing maneuver to avoid a crash 
with a pedestrian behind the vehicle, their lower cost is outweighed by 
the substantially reduced benefits that are likely to be achieved by 
these systems. Thus, the agency believes that rear visibility systems 
meeting the requirements of today's rule are not only the most 
effective systems at addressing the backover safety problem but also 
the most cost effective system. Further, to adjust the requirements in 
today's rule to accommodate these other systems would not fulfill the 
requirements of the K.T. Safety Act as these other systems cannot be 
reasonably expected to address the backover crash problem.
    Consistent with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 
today's final rule establishes ``a minimum standard for motor vehicle 
or motor vehicle equipment performance.'' \15\ While we acknowledge 
some commenters' desire for a more performance-oriented approach to the 
backover safety problem, we conclude that today's final rule is as 
performance-oriented as possible while still achieving the Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act's requirement that Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standards ``meet the need for safety.'' \16\ As Congress recognized 
when it enacted the Motor Vehicle Safety Act,\17\ there is no clear 
distinction between standards that regulate performance versus those 
that regulate design. All safety standards necessarily will affect and 
preclude certain designs because the design of vehicles and equipment 
affects the quality of their performance. The extent to which a safety 
standard will restrict particular design is purely a matter of 
degree.\18\ Thus, to fulfill all the applicable statutory requirements, 
the agency designs requirements to be as broad (i.e., performance-
oriented) as possible without hindering the standard's ability to 
``meet the need for safety.'' Our decisions in today's final rule 
follow this strategy. As we discuss in detail in Section III, below, 
the available data show that providing a driver with a view of the area 
behind the vehicle is currently the most effective way available to 
reduce backover crashes, as contemplated by the K.T. Safety Act. Thus, 
while today's rule requires systems to show a rearview image to the 
driver (in order to meet the need for safety), the rule uses 
performance-oriented requirements to enable manufacturers flexibility 
in determining how to present that image to drivers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ See 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(9).
    \16\ See 49 U.S.C. 30111(a).
    \17\ For example, Senator Magnuson recognized that standards are 
not either performance standards or design standards (i.e., there is 
not a dichotomy between the two) when he said that some safety 
standards would necessarily determine the configuration of some 
vehicle components. See 112 C.R. 20600 (Aug. 31, 1966).
    \18\ Courts have also recognized the difficulty in applying the 
distinction between performance and design standards in concrete 
situations (because specifying performance often entails 
restrictions on design) and did not invalidate safety standards 
based on their indefinite place on the conceptual spectrum between 
performance and design. See Washington v. Dept. of Transp., 84 F.3d 
1222, 1224-25 (10th Cir. 1996) (citing Wood v. General Motors Corp., 
865 F.2d 395, 416-17 (1st Cir. 1988); Chrysler Corp. v. Department 
of Transp., 515 F.2d 1053515 F.2d at 1058-59 (6th Cir. 1975)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We further note, as we did in the NPRM, that technology is rapidly 
evolving. Thus, while today's final rule concludes that the most 
effective and currently available systems present the driver with a 
rearview image, the final rule does not require that a specific 
technology be used to provide a driver with an image of the area behind 
the vehicle, nor does today's rule preclude manufacturers from 
providing additional countermeasure technologies to supplement the 
required rear visibility system.
Applying Requirements by Vehicle Type
    Further, the comments suggested, and the agency considered, the 
possibility of applying the rear visibility system requirements of 
today's rule by vehicle type. However, today's rule does not prescribe 
different requirements by vehicle type and applies the rear visibility 
requirements to all motor vehicles with a GVWR less than 10,000 pounds 
(except motorcycles and trailers) as directed by the K.T. Safety Act. 
As described above, the available data does not show that other 
currently available rear visibility systems (not meeting the 
requirements in today's rule) are able to effectively address the 
backover safety risk that the agency is required to address under the 
K.T. Safety Act. Thus, to apply different requirements by vehicle type 
in this rulemaking would mean applying the requirements of today's rule 
to only certain vehicle types and excluding others.
    The agency does not believe that it can exclude any vehicle types 
covered by the K.T. Safety Act from this rule. While the K.T. Safety 
Act affords the agency discretion to apply different requirements to 
different vehicle types, the Act does not allow the agency to exclude 
(and apply no requirements to) any vehicle type covered by the K.T. 
Safety Act. Further, as discussed further in this preamble, the 
available data indicate that all vehicle types suffer from significant 
rear blind zones and contribute to backover crashes at a rate that is 
similar to their proportion of the vehicle fleet.\19\ Thus, to exclude 
vehicles covered under the K.T. Safety Act from the requirements in 
today's rule would not only fail to meet the requirements of the K.T. 
Safety Act, but would also fail to address the backover safety need. As 
the vehicles covered by the K.T. Safety Act contribute proportionally 
to backover crashes resulting in an injury or a fatality, the agency 
believes that it is reasonable to apply the requirements of today's 
rule to all vehicles with a GVWR under 10,000 pounds (except 
motorcycles and trailers).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ As discussed further in this document, all vehicles 
contribute to backover crashes at a rate that's similar to their 
proportion of the fleet. For example, passenger cars comprise 57% of 
the vehicle fleet and are responsible for 52% of backover injuries. 
Utility vehicles are 17% of the fleet and are responsible for 16% of 
the backover injuries. Vans are 10% of the fleet and responsible for 
11% of the backover injuries. Pickup trucks are 16% of the fleet and 
responsible for 14% of the injuries. However, some vehicle types 
contribute to more fatalities than other vehicle types.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusion
    Given the requirements of the K.T. Safety Act and the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (``Vehicle Safety Act''), the 
totality of the available data continue to show that rear visibility 
systems meeting the requirements in today's final rule are the most 
effective and the most cost-effective countermeasure available to 
address the backover safety problem identified by Congress in the K.T. 
Safety Act. Data from agency testing and other currently available 
information continue to show that drivers using rearview video systems 
experience a statistically significant beneficial effect in avoiding a 
collision with an unexpected rear obstacle. As the agency seeks to 
achieve the goals of the K.T. Safety Act in the least burdensome 
fashion, the agency has made various modifications to the requirements 
in today's final rule. However, this final rule adopts the requirement 
from the NPRM that the driver must be afforded a view of the 20-foot by 
10-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The data continue to show 
that rear visibility systems with this characteristic are the most 
effective solution available to address the backover safety problem 
that the agency is required to address under the K.T. Safety Act. To 
adopt requirements allowing countermeasures without this

[[Page 19184]]

characteristic or applying the requirements in this rule to only a 
subset of the vehicle types specified in the K.T. Safety Act would not 
fulfill the requirements of that Act.
    Throughout this rulemaking process the agency has been sensitive to 
the potential costs of today's rule and has explored multiple potential 
methods for reducing the potential burden of today's rule. Although the 
additional information received by the agency since the NPRM affords 
the agency a more refined understanding of the potential costs and 
benefits of today's rule, no comments or research data received provide 
the agency with a rational basis to adopt requirements that would 
permit rear visibility systems other than those permitted in today's 
rule. While the costs of the rule exceed its quantifiable benefits, 
Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 call upon us to assess the costs and 
benefits of a rulemaking, including those costs and benefits that are 
difficult to quantify and, unless prohibited by statute, choose the 
regulatory alternative that maximizes net benefits. Further, to the 
extent permitted by law, regulations must be designed in the most cost-
effective manner to achieve the regulatory objective. As summarized 
later in this document and explained in detail in the accompanying 
Final Regulatory Impact Analysis, the agency has carefully considered 
all impacts of this rule and has chosen the most cost-effective option 
in meeting the statutory mandate. All available information and agency 
analysis continues to demonstrate that rear visibility systems meeting 
the requirements of today's rule are the most effective, least 
burdensome, and most cost-effective systems that can address the 
backover safety risk and fulfill the requirements of the K.T. Safety 
Act. Thus, the agency has chosen the most cost-effective means of 
achieving Congress's purpose in enacting the K.T. Safety Act. Moreover, 
as detailed in the NPRM and again discussed here in this final rule, 
the Department maintains that there are significant unquantifiable 
considerations associated with this rule, in particular the young age 
of many victims and the fact that many drivers involved in backover 
crashes are relatives or caretakers of the victims, that support this 
action.

II. Background and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

a. Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act and National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act

General Requirements
    Subsection 2(b) of the K.T. Safety Act directs the Secretary of 
Transportation to initiate rulemaking to revise FMVSS No. 111 to expand 
the required field of view so as to enable drivers of motor vehicles to 
detect areas behind the motor vehicle. In the same section, Congress 
explained that the purpose of this requirement is to reduce death and 
injury resulting from backover crashes--especially crashes involving 
young children and disabled persons. The Act permitted the Secretary to 
prescribe different requirements for different vehicle types. It 
further allowed the Secretary to achieve the goals of the Act through 
the provision of additional mirrors, sensors, cameras, or other 
technology that could expand the driver's field of view.
    The K.T. Safety Act did not intend to cover all motor vehicles that 
are regulated under the Vehicle Safety Act.\20\ While subsection 2(e) 
of the K.T. Safety Act defines the term ``motor vehicle,'' for its 
purposes, as all vehicles covered under the Vehicle Safety Act, it 
specifically excludes all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating 
greater than 10,000 pounds, motorcycles, and trailers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ The Vehicle Safety Act defines a ``motor vehicle'' as ``a 
vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured 
primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways, but does 
not include a vehicle operated only on a rail line.'' 49 U.S.C. 
30102(a)(6)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given that subsection 2(b) prescribes amendments to a Federal motor 
vehicle safety standard, this rulemaking is governed not only by the 
K.T. Safety Act, but also by the requirements of the Vehicle Safety 
Act. The relevant provisions in the Vehicle Safety Act are those in 
section 30111 of title 49 of the United States Code. Section 30111 
states that the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe motor 
vehicle safety standards. Each standard shall be practicable, meet the 
need for motor vehicle safety, and be stated in objective terms. When 
prescribing a motor vehicle safety standard under this chapter, the 
Secretary shall consider relevant available motor vehicle safety 
information; consult with appropriate State or interstate authorities 
(including legislative committees); consider whether a proposed 
standard is reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for the particular 
type of motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment for which it is 
prescribed; and consider the extent to which the standard will carry 
out the purposes of the Vehicle Safety Act.
Deadlines
    Congress enacted the K.T. Safety Act on February 28, 2008. The Act 
directed the Secretary to initiate rulemaking to amend FMVSS No. 111 
within 12 months of enactment (February 28, 2009). The Act further 
directed the Secretary to publish a final rule amending FMVSS No. 111 
within 36 months of enactment (February 28, 2011). In the event that 
any of the aforementioned deadlines could not be met, subsection 4 
required the Secretary to establish a new deadline and notify the 
Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation of the Senate of 
the new deadlines and the reasons the deadlines specified in the Act 
could not be met.
    On February 25, 2011, the agency determined that the deadline for 
publication of today's final rule could not be met and the Secretary 
sent notice to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science and 
Transportation of the Senate as required by the K.T. Safety Act.\21\ 
While the NPRM was published on December 7, 2010 and provided for a 60-
day comment period, the agency determined that an additional 45-day 
comment period would be necessary. The agency informed Congress of its 
intent to hold a public hearing and technical workshop in order to 
facilitate the exchange of ideas over the backover safety problem. The 
agency also stated that additional time was required in order to 
analyze the information acquired in these two public meetings. Thus, as 
required by the K.T. Safety Act, the Secretary sent the aforementioned 
notification and established December 31, 2011 as the new deadline.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0148.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, due to the large volume of comments and the complexity of 
the issues discussed in this rulemaking, the Secretary determined that 
more time was necessary to complete the final review process. Thus, the 
Secretary sent additional notifications to the required committees 
establishing the new deadline of February 29, 2012.\22\ A subsequent 
deadline of December 31, 2012 was established on February 28, 2012 when 
the Secretary sent additional notifications to the required committees

[[Page 19185]]

explaining that further research and analysis would be necessary in 
order to ensure that the final requirements are as efficient and 
protective as possible.\23\ Specifically, the letter noted that 
additional analysis and/or research of a wider range of driver and 
vehicle types would help to ensure that the final rule is appropriate 
and that the underlying analysis is robust. As further described below, 
the agency conducted additional research and analysis to expand the 
vehicle, driver, and obstacle presentation methods.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0230.
    \23\ Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0231.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While the agency completed this additional research in 2012, the 
Secretary determined that additional time would be necessary to 
finalize this rule and sent the notifications to the required 
committees under the K.T. Safety Act establishing a deadline of January 
2, 2015.\24\ Given that vehicles with rearview video systems are 
increasingly prevalent in the light vehicle fleet, we believed that 
additional analysis of crashes investigated by the Special Crash 
Investigations program would contribute significantly to our 
understanding of the backover crash problem. More specifically, the 
agency attempted to identify and analyze crashes involving vehicles 
with rearview video systems in order to refine further its 
understanding of how the proposed requirements address the real world 
safety risk.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0251.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As further discussed below, the agency could not identify as many 
cases for analysis as it hoped (potentially because rearview video 
systems are already having an impact on reducing backover crashes). 
Only two cases involving vehicles with rearview video systems could be 
identified and these cases are analyzed in the sections that follow. 
However, due to the lack of available cases, the agency believes that 
further delay of the rule is unlikely to yield much additional 
information for analysis. Thus, after considering these new facts along 
with the safety implications of further delay, the Department has 
decided that it is appropriate to issue today's final rule at this 
time--before the January 2, 2015 deadline.
Phase-in
    In addition to these requirements, the K.T. Safety Act required 
that the safety standards prescribed pursuant to the Act establish a 
phase-in period for compliance. The Act further required that the 
phase-in period prescribe full compliance with the aforementioned 
safety standards no later than 48 months after issuance of the final 
rule. The K.T. Safety Act instructed the Secretary to consider whether 
to require a phase-in schedule based on vehicle type according to data 
regarding the frequency of backover incidents for each vehicle type.

b. Safety Problem

Definition of the Backover Problem and Summary of the Available Data
    In the ANPRM and NPRM, we specifically described a backover as a 
type of incident, in which a non-occupant of a vehicle (e.g., a 
pedestrian or cyclist) is struck by a vehicle moving in reverse. As a 
majority of backover crashes occur off of public roadways, NHTSA's 
traditional methodologies for collecting data as to the specific 
numbers and circumstances of backover incidents could not give the 
agency a complete picture of the scope and circumstances of these types 
of incidents. Thus, in addition to statistics from traditional sources 
such as FARS \25\ and NASS-GES \26\, our research has utilized 
information from the ``Not-in-Traffic Surveillance'' (NiTS) system 
which collects information about all non-traffic crashes, including 
non-traffic backing crashes. Based on the aforementioned sources, NHTSA 
estimated that backing crashes of all types result in approximately 410 
fatalities and 42,000 injuries each year. Of those, the subset of 
backover crashes (crashes involving non-occupants of vehicles such as 
pedestrians and cyclists) comprises 267 fatalities and 15,000 injuries.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) is a 
nationwide census that provides yearly data regarding fatal injuries 
suffered in motor vehicle traffic crashes. See NHTSA, NCSA Reports 
and Publications, http://www.nhtsa.gov/FARS.
    \26\ The National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates 
System (NASS-GES) is a nationally representative sample of police 
reported motor vehicle crashes. See NHTSA, NASS General Estimates 
System, http://www.nhtsa.gov/NASS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of these backover crashes, not all involve the vehicle types 
contemplated by Congress in the K.T. Safety Act (cars, trucks, MPVs, 
and vans with GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less). When only these vehicles 
are taken into account, the data indicate that a total population of 
210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries \27\ are due to light vehicle 
backover crashes.\28\ However, the data are less clear when examining 
the distribution of backover crashes by vehicle type. Table 6 
illustrates that pickup trucks and MPVs are statistically 
overrepresented in backover fatalities when compared to all non-backing 
traffic injury crashes and to their proportion of the vehicle fleet 
with a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds. Our analysis revealed that 
while these vehicle types were statistically overrepresented in 
backover-related fatalities, they were not significantly 
overrepresented in backover crashes generally. In other words, these 
data indicate that while these types of vehicles are proportionately 
involved in backover crashes, those involving light trucks and sport 
utility vehicles are more likely to be fatal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Due to rounding, injuries for both light vehicles and all 
vehicles are estimated to be 15,000.
    \28\ See Final Regulatory Impact Analysis, available in the 
docket number referenced at the beginning of this document.

[[Page 19186]]



                                    Table 6--Passenger Vehicle Backover Fatalities and Injuries by Vehicle Type \29\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                             % of Non-
                  Backing vehicle type                      Fatalities         % of          Estimated    Estimated % of      Backing       % of Fleet
                                                                            Fatalities       injuries        injuries         crashes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Car.....................................................              59              28           8,000              52              58              57
Utility Vehicle.........................................              56              27           2,000              16              18              17
Van.....................................................              23              11           2,000              11               7              10
Pickup..................................................              68              33           2,000              14              15              16
Other Light Vehicle.....................................               3               2           1,000               7               2               0
Passenger Vehicles......................................             210             100          15,000             100             100             100
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: FARS 2007-2011, NASS-GES 2007-2011, NiTS 2007-2011.
Note: Estimates may not add up to totals due to independent rounding.

     
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Our data further indicated that young children under the age of 5 
and adults over the age of 70 are disproportionately represented in 
passenger vehicle backover crashes. Table 7 details the ages for 
fatalities and injuries for backover crashes involving all vehicles as 
well as those involving passenger vehicles only. It also details the 
proportion of the U.S. population in each age category from the 2007 
U.S. Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program for comparison. When 
restricted to backover fatalities involving passenger vehicles, 
children under 5 years old account for 39 percent of the fatalities and 
adults 70 years of age and older account for 29 percent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ Id.

                     Table 7--All Backover Crash Fatalities and Injuries by Victim Age \30\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Percent of       Estimated    Estimated % of    Percent of
          Age of victim             Fatalities      fatalities       injuries        injuries       population
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  All Vehicles
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under 5.....................              84              31           1,000               6               7
    5-10........................               8               3           1,000               4               7
    10-19.......................               4               1           1,000               9              14
    20-59.......................              73              27           7,000              49              55
    60-69.......................              27              10           2,000              11               8
    70+.........................              70              26           3,000              20               9
    Unknown.....................               2               1              *0               1  ..............
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...................             267             100          15,000             100             100
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Passenger Cars
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under 5.....................              82              39           1,000               6               7
    5-10........................               8               4           1,000               4               7
    10-19.......................               1               1           1,000               9              14
    20-59.......................              38              18           7,000              48              55
    60-69.......................              19               9           2,000              11               8
    70+.........................              61              29           3,000              21               9
    Unknown.....................               1               0              *0               1  ..............
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total...................             210             100          15,000             100             100
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: * indicates estimate less than 500, Estimates do not add up to totals due to independent rounding.
Note: Source: US Census Bureau, Population Estimates Program, 2007 Population Estimates; FARS 2007-2011, NASS-
  GES 2007-2011, NiTS 2007-2011.

    In addition, we examined the data specifically in regards to 
children under the age of 5. Table 8 (below) presents passenger vehicle 
backover fatalities by year of age for victims less than 5 years old. 
Out of all backover fatalities involving passenger vehicles, 24 percent 
(49 out of 210) of victims are 1 year of age and younger.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ Id.

   Table 8--Breakdown of Backover Crash Fatalities Involving Passenger
               Vehicles for Victims Under Age 5 Years \31\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Percent of
                  Age of victim (years)                     fatalities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.......................................................               2
1.......................................................              59
2.......................................................              21
3.......................................................              11
4.......................................................               7
                                                         ---------------
    Total...............................................             100
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: US Census Bureau, Population Estimates Program, 2007 Population
  Estimates; FARS 2007-2011, NASS-GES 2007-2011, NiTS 2007-2011


[[Page 19187]]

    Separately, the agency also examined the FARS and NASS-GES data 
from 2007-2010 in order to determine whether or not any persons with 
disabilities were involved in backover crashes. During the four-year 
period between 2007 and 2010, the agency identified one case in the 
FARS database involving a vision-impaired pedestrian where the backover 
crash resulted in a fatality. When examining the same timeframe, the 
agency identified two backover cases in the NASS-GES database that 
involved persons in wheelchairs that resulted in injuries. Under both 
databases, the agency found other cases where the individual was 
specified as ``impaired'' (1 in FARS, and 11 in NASS-GES). While the 
agency cannot identify the specific type of ``impairment'' that the 
individual had at the time of the backover crash, these individuals may 
have had a disability (permanent or temporary) at the time of the 
backover crash.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ The FARS and NASS-GES coding system has a separate category 
for individuals that were alcohol-impaired. However, the FARS and 
NASS-GES coding system does not differentiate between persons that 
have physical disabilities (e.g., individuals using crutches) and 
persons impaired by substances that are not alcohol (e.g., wrong 
dosage of medication). Thus, while persons with temporary or 
permanent disabilities could be included in this category, the 
database information is not specific enough for the agency to 
determine what portion of these persons had a physical disability at 
the time of the backover crash.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Special Crash Investigation of Backover Crashes
    As reported in the ANPRM and the NPRM, NHTSA conducted an analysis 
of police-reported backover crashes through a Special Crash 
Investigation (SCI) program during the earlier stages of this 
rulemaking. The SCI program operates by receiving notifications of 
potential backover cases from several different sources including media 
reports, police and rescue personnel, contacts within NHTSA, reports 
from the general public, as well as notifications from the NASS. For 
purposes of that analysis of SCI cases, an eligible backover case was 
defined as a crash in which a light passenger vehicle's back plane 
strikes or passes over a person who is either positioned to the rear of 
the vehicle or is approaching from the side. These cases investigated 
were more likely to be cases involving children--however, some cases 
did involve adults. The majority of notifications received did not meet 
the criteria for case assignment. Typically, the reasons for not 
pursuing further include: (1) The reported crash configuration is 
outside of the scope of the program; (2) minor incidents with no 
fatally or seriously injured persons; or (3) incidents where 
cooperation cannot be established with the involved parties. As an 
example, many reported incidents are determined to be side or frontal 
impacts, which were not investigated for the purposes of this 
rulemaking. The agency was less likely to investigate a case involving 
an adult unless the adult was seriously injured or killed or if the 
backing vehicles were equipped with backing or parking aids.\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ The SCI cases reviewed by NHTSA are available in the SCI 
Electronic Case Viewer at http://www.nhtsa.gov/SCI.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency conducted these investigations because the special crash 
investigations enhance the agency's understanding of the different 
circumstances that can lead to a backover crash. As the SCI cases 
revealed, there are a number of variables that can lead to a backover 
crash. NHTSA completed special crash investigations of 58 backover 
cases.\34\ The 58 backing vehicles in these cases comprised 18 
passenger cars, 22 MPVs, 5 vans (including minivans) and 13 pickup 
trucks. For cases in which an estimated speed for the backing vehicle 
was available, the speed of the backing vehicle ranged between 
approximately 0.62 and 10 mph. Of the 58 SCI backover cases, the vast 
majority (55) occurred in daylight conditions. Further, half of the 
cases investigated by NHTSA involved a non-occupant fatality.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ While NHTSA analyzed a total of 58 SCI cases during the 
course of its research, some analyses were completed before all 58 
cases were available. For example, when NHTSA analyzed crash 
avoidability using data from the SCI cases only 50 cases were 
available. See Final Regulatory Impact Analysis, available in the 
docket number referenced at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the cases investigated by NHTSA, most of the victims were either 
children (who were too short to be seen behind the vehicle), or adults 
who had fallen or were bent over and were also thus not in the driver's 
field of view. Specifically, 51 of the cases involved children (ranging 
in age from less than 8 months old up to 13 years old) who were struck 
by vehicles.\35\ Of the 8 adult victim cases investigated by NHTSA, 4 
were in an upright posture either standing or walking. Of the remaining 
four adult victims documented in the SCI cases, one was bending over 
behind a backing vehicle to pick up something from the ground, one was 
an elderly person who had fallen down in the path of the vehicle prior 
to being run over, and the postural orientation of the remaining two 
was unknown.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ As the selection of SCI cases, media reports, and other 
sources of information available to NHTSA on backover crashes may 
tend to report more heavily on accidents involving vulnerable 
populations such as children or the elderly, the information 
contained in the SCI cases analyzed in this rulemaking may be over 
representative of the incidence of backovers involving these 
populations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on NHTSA's analysis of the quantitative data and narrative 
descriptions of how the 58 SCI-documented backover crashes transpired, 
NHTSA estimated the general path that the victim took prior to each 
backover crash. We note that this analysis is unable to identify the 
victim's location, speed, and trajectory at a time that is relevant to 
the backover crash (i.e., after the vehicle has begun the backing 
maneuver). However, this analysis does enhance the agency's 
understanding of the varied circumstances that can lead to a backover 
crash. The breakdown of the victim's path of travel prior to being 
struck is as follows: 41 were approaching from the right or left of the 
vehicle at some point in time prior to being struck by the vehicle, 12 
were in the path of the backing vehicle, 4 were unknown, and one was 
``other.''
    Subsequent to the ANPRM, NHTSA further analyzed these SCI backover 
cases to assess how far the vehicle traveled before striking the 
victim. Distances traveled for the cases investigated by NHTSA ranged 
from 1 to 75 feet. Overall, as shown in Table 9 below, this analysis 
showed that in 77 percent of the real-world, SCI backover cases 
investigated by NHTSA, the vehicle traveled less than 20 feet. While 
the subset may or may not be nationally representative of all backing 
crashes, we believe this information from the SCI cases is useful in 
the development of a required visible area and the associated 
development of a compliance test.

[[Page 19188]]



   Table 9--Average Distance Traveled by Backing Vehicle for First 58 SCI Backover Cases and Percent of Backover Crashes That Could Be Avoided Through
                                                              Various Coverage Ranges \36\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Average
                                                                             distance
                                                           Number of SCI  traveled prior      7ft (%)        15ft (%)        20ft (%)        35ft (%)
                                                               cases         to strike
                                                                               (ft.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Car.....................................................              18            13.7              39              56              78              89
SUV.....................................................              22            13.4              27              68              82             100
Minivan.................................................               4            31.0              25              50              50              75
Van.....................................................               1            54.5               0               0               0               0
Pickup..................................................              13            17.2              38              69              69              92
All Light Vehicles......................................              58            26.0              33              63              77              93
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Analysis of Backover Crash Risk by Monte Carlo Simulation
    NHTSA also calculated backover crash risk as a function of 
pedestrian location using a Monte Carlo simulation.\37\ Data from a 
recent NHTSA study of drivers' backing behavior,\38\ such as average 
backing speed and average distance covered in a backing maneuver, were 
used to develop a backing speed distribution and a backing distance 
distribution that were used as inputs to the simulation. Similarly, 
published data 39 40 41 characterizing walking and running 
speeds of an average 1-year-old child were also used as inputs. A Monte 
Carlo simulation was performed that drew upon the noted vehicle and 
pedestrian motion data to calculate a probability-based risk weighting 
for a test area centered behind the vehicle. The probability-based risk 
weightings for each grid square were based on the number of pedestrian-
vehicle backing crashes predicted by the simulation for trials for 
which the pedestrian was initially (i.e., at the time that the vehicle 
began to back up) in the center of one square of the grid of 1-foot 
squares spanning 70 feet wide by 90 feet in range behind the vehicle. A 
total of 1,000,000 simulation trials were run with the pedestrian 
initially in the center of each square.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ These distances do not indicate the distance between the 
victim and the vehicle at the start of the backing maneuver because 
it shows the distance that the vehicle traveled before striking the 
pedestrian. The SCI cases do not have sufficient detail to enable 
the agency to determine the location of the pedestrian at the 
beginning of the backing maneuver.
    \37\ 74 FR 9484.
    \38\ Mazzae, E.N., Barickman, F.S., Baldwin, G.H.S., and Ranney, 
T.A. (2008). On-Road Study of Drivers' Use of Rearview Video Systems 
(ORSDURVS). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT HS 
811 024.
    \39\ Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and 
Highways, 2003 Edition. Washington, DC: FHWA, November 2003.
    \40\ Milazzo, J.S., Rouphail, J.E., and Alien, D.P. (1999). 
Quality of Service for Interrupted-Flow Pedestrian Facilities in 
Highway Capacity Manual 2000. Transportation Research Record, No. 
1678 (1999): 25-31.
    \41\ Chou, P., Chou, Y., Su, F., Huang, W., Lin, T. (2003). 
Normal Gait of Children. Biomedical Engineering--Applications, Basis 
& Communications, Vol. 15 No. 4 August 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The output of this analysis calculated relative crash risk values 
for each grid square representing a location behind the vehicle. The 
results suggested that, if pedestrians were randomly distributed in 
areas behind the vehicle, an area 12 feet wide by 36 feet long centered 
behind the vehicle would address pedestrian locations having relative 
crash risks of 0.15 and higher (with a risk value of 1.0 being located 
directly aft of the rear bumper). To address crash risks of 0.20 and 
higher, an area 7 feet wide and 33 feet long centered behind the 
vehicle would need to be covered. The analysis showed that an area 
covering approximately the width of the vehicle out to a range of 19 
feet would encompass risk values of 0.4 and higher.

c. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    In response to the K.T. Safety Act, NHTSA initiated rulemaking to 
amend FMVSS No. 111 to improve a driver's ability to see areas to the 
rear of a motor vehicle to reduce backover incidents by publishing an 
ANPRM in the Federal Register on March 4, 2009. In addition to 
complying with the statutory deadline for initiating rulemaking, we 
published the ANPRM in order to solicit public comment on the current 
state of research and the efficacy of available countermeasures. In 
this notice, we acknowledged the backover safety problem and its 
disproportionate effect on small children and the elderly. We further 
described our ongoing research efforts and presented a series of 
specific questions for public comment.
    The research presented in the ANPRM focused on four major topic 
areas. The first area involved the nature of backover incidents and 
backing crashes generally. We presented the details of documented 
backover incidents, including the locations of backover victims, the 
paths the victims took to enter the path of the vehicle, and the 
visibility characteristics of the vehicles involved. In the ANPRM, we 
outlined the information we had regarding these crashes, whether the 
lack of visibility played a significant role, and whether or not the 
characteristics of a class or type of vehicle could be considered a 
contributing factor.
    The second area of focus involved the evaluation of various 
strategies regarding the vehicles types and the appropriate rear 
visibility countermeasure. We presented three possible strategies in 
the ANPRM and requested public comment. The first strategy raised by 
the ANPRM was to ensure that the vehicles which are over-represented in 
terms of fatalities and injuries would have their rear field of view 
improved. Such a strategy would have focused on vehicles such as pickup 
trucks or MPVs, which were presumed to be overrepresented. The second 
strategy explored sought to establish a minimum blind zone area for 
vehicles under 10,000 pounds. Our research at the time suggested that a 
vehicle's rear blind zone area may be statistically correlated with its 
rate of backing crashes. Using this correlation, we conjectured that it 
may have been possible to determine which vehicles warranted certain 
rear visibility improvements based on the size of their rear blind 
zones and the setting of a ``threshold.'' Finally we also explored the 
possibility that the rear visibility countermeasures should be applied 
uniformly to all vehicles contemplated by the K.T. Safety Act.
    The third topic focused on the evaluation of various 
countermeasures. After consulting past agency research, industry and 
other outside sources, as well as conducting new research, four types 
of countermeasures were presented and described in the ANPRM. These 
countermeasures included direct vision (i.e., what can be seen by a 
driver glancing directly out a vehicle's windows), rear-mounted convex 
mirrors, rear object detection sensors

[[Page 19189]]

(such as ultrasonic or radar-based devices), and rearview video (RV) 
systems. While we noted that research was still ongoing, the ANPRM 
described how these systems work, how well they perform in identifying 
pedestrians, and how effectively drivers may use them.
    Finally, the fourth topic involved consideration of technical 
specifications and test procedures that could be used to describe and 
evaluate the performance aspects of direct view, rear-mounted convex 
mirrors, rear object detection sensors, and rearview video (RV) 
systems. The agency presented preliminary information on potential 
technical specifications and test procedures and solicited information 
on how these specifications and procedures should be refined for the 
purposes of developing repeatable compliance tests.
    In addition to presenting these four areas of research, NHTSA also 
requested comment on more than forty specific questions in the ANPRM. 
We requested public input on a variety of topics including studies on 
the effectiveness of various indirect rear visibility systems (i.e., 
devices that aid a driver in seeing areas around a vehicle, such as 
mirrors or video systems) that have been implemented in the U.S. and/or 
abroad, and technological possibilities that could enhance the 
reliability of existing technologies. Further, the agency sought 
information on the costs of implementation of all available 
technologies to develop more robust cost and benefit estimates.
    In response to the ANPRM, the agency received comments from 37 
entities, including industry associations, automotive and equipment 
manufacturers, safety advocacy organizations, and 14 individuals. 
Generally, the comments covered the main research areas detailed in the 
ANPRM. With regard to the issue of which vehicles most warrant improved 
rear visibility, vehicle manufacturers generally desired to focus any 
expansion of rear visibility on the particular types of vehicles (i.e., 
trucks, vans, and MPVs within the specified weight limits) that they 
believed posed the highest risk of backover crash fatalities and 
injuries. However, vehicle safety organizations and equipment 
manufacturers generally suggested that all vehicles need to have 
expanded rear fields of view.
    With regard to the issue of what technology would be effective at 
expanding the rear field of view for a driver, commenters discussed 
additional mirrors, sensors, and rearview video combined with sensors. 
Some commenters provided input regarding test procedure development and 
rear visibility countermeasure characteristics, such as visual display 
size and brightness, and graphic overlays superimposed on a video 
image. Some also discussed whether it is appropriate to allow a small 
gap in coverage immediately behind the rear bumper. Finally, commenters 
generally agreed with the cost estimates provided by the agency. 
However, the Consumers Union and Magna comments did suggest that our 
estimates of the cost of individual technologies seemed high and that 
there would be larger cost reductions over time than the agency had 
indicated.
    Because the ANPRM had an extremely broad scope, the comments 
addressed a wide variety of issues and provided a large amount of 
information. A more extensive discussion of the ANPRM, the comments 
that the agency received in response, and our analysis and response to 
these comments is available in the NPRM. However, specific comments on 
the ANPRM which are relevant to our discussion of today's final rule 
are also referenced by issue in section III, Final Rule and Response to 
Comments.

d. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    After evaluating the comments on the ANPRM and conducting 
additional research, we published an NPRM on December 7, 2010.\42\ In 
that notice, we proposed to apply the rear visibility requirements to 
all passenger cars, MPVs, trucks, buses, and low-speed vehicles with a 
GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less by specifying an area behind the vehicle 
that a driver must be able to see when the vehicle is in reverse gear. 
The proposal tentatively concluded that drivers need to be able to see 
a visual image of a 32-inch tall cylinder with a 12-inch diameter 
behind the vehicle over an area 5 feet to either side of the vehicle 
centerline by 20 feet in longitudinal range from the vehicle's rear 
bumper surface. We further proposed various performance criteria for 
the visual display including luminance, rearview image response time, 
and image linger and driver deactivation restrictions, as well as 
durability requirements. Pursuant to the K.T. Safety Act, the NPRM also 
proposed a phase-in schedule for compliance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ 75 FR 76186.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NPRM proposed to apply rear visibility improvements to all 
passenger cars, MPVs, trucks, buses, and low-speed vehicles with a GVWR 
of 10,000 pounds or less because the available data showed no clear 
basis for excluding certain vehicles. As noted above, the ANPRM and the 
commenters on the ANPRM explored various possibilities for establishing 
rear visibility countermeasures which would be applied based on vehicle 
type (such as MPVs, trucks, and buses) or based on a blind zone 
threshold. However, as the available data indicated that substantial 
numbers of fatalities and injuries are caused by all types of light 
vehicles, we did not propose in the NPRM to limit the application of 
rear visibility countermeasures by vehicle type. Further, our data 
showed that applying the rear visibility countermeasure by a blind zone 
area threshold lacked a sufficient statistical basis. The available 
data demonstrated that vehicles with comparatively small blind zones 
still had similar backover crash rates as other vehicles. In addition, 
the agency concluded that applying rear visibility countermeasures to 
all vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less would most closely 
follow the intent of Congress in the K.T. Safety Act. Thus, the NPRM 
proposed to apply the rear visibility improvements to all vehicles 
contemplated by Congress under the K.T. Safety Act.
    We also expressed in the NPRM our view that rearview video systems 
represent the most effective technology available to address the 
problem of backover crashes. Our data showed that rear-mounted convex 
mirrors and sensor-based object detection systems offered few benefits 
compared to rearview video systems due to system performance and driver 
use issues. Studies conducted by NHTSA showed that sensors and mirrors, 
while able to detect pedestrians to some degree, simply did not induce 
the driver response needed to prevent backover crashes. The NPRM noted 
that a sensor-activated warning of the presence of an obstacle often 
does not lead to a successful (i.e., timely and sufficient) crash 
avoidance response from the driver unless the driver is also provided 
with visual confirmation of obstacle presence. Thus, the NPRM proposed 
to afford the driver a visual display which offered a view of the area 
immediately behind the vehicle.
    In the NPRM, we tentatively concluded that the area covered by the 
proposed rearview countermeasure should be 20 feet by 10 feet. In 
making this determination, we used various sources of information 
including the comments received from the ANPRM, the available safety 
data, our review of special investigations of backover crashes, and a 
computer simulation. For example, we examined the typical distances 
that backover-crash-involved vehicles traveled from the location at

[[Page 19190]]

which they began moving rearward to the location at which they struck a 
pedestrian. We tentatively concluded that an area with a width of 10 
feet (5 feet to either side of a rearward extension of the vehicle's 
centerline) and a length of 20 feet extending backward from a 
transverse vertical plane tangent to the rearmost point on the rear 
bumper encompasses the highest risk area for children and other 
pedestrians to be struck. Thus, we proposed in the NPRM that test 
objects, of a particular size, within that area must be visible to 
drivers when they are conducting backing maneuvers.
    In the NPRM we also expressed our view that, in order to maintain 
the level of effectiveness that we have seen in our testing of existing 
rearview video systems, we needed to propose a minimum set of 
performance requirements. Specifically, the NPRM set forth requirements 
for the performance of the visual display luminance, a minimum rearview 
image size, a rearview image response time requirement, durability 
requirements for exterior components, and provisions against driver 
deactivation and excessive rearview image linger. In drafting these 
proposed requirements, the agency strove to afford manufacturers 
flexibility to meet these requirements as they see fit (such as through 
the development of new technologies). Since we stated in the NPRM that 
most, if not all, rearview video systems that would likely be used by 
manufacturers to meet the proposed minimum set of requirements already 
met these requirements, we did not believe that the adoption of these 
additional requirements would increase the cost of this existing 
technology.
    Further, pursuant to section 2(c) of the K.T. Safety Act, we 
proposed a phase-in schedule that would be completed within 48 months 
of the publication of the final rule. Because we anticipated publishing 
a final rule by the statutory deadline of February 28, 2011, we noted 
that the rule must require full compliance not later than February 28, 
2015. However, we were conscious of the fact that, for safety standard 
compliance purposes, model years begin on September 1 and end on August 
31 and that February 28 falls in the middle of a model year. Thus, the 
agency tentatively concluded that vehicle manufacturers would need, as 
a practical matter, to begin full compliance at the beginning of that 
model year, i.e., on September 1, 2014. Accordingly, NHTSA proposed the 
following phase-in schedule:
     0% of the vehicles manufactured before September 1, 2012;
     10% of the vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 
2012, and before September 1, 2013;
     40% of the vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 
2013, and before September 1, 2014; and
     100% of the vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 
2014.
    Finally, the NPRM also proposed a compliance test with which to 
evaluate the field of view and image size requirements. The proposed 
test would utilize a photography camera with an imaging sensor located 
at the eye point of a 50th percentile male. The test procedure would 
then take a photograph of the test objects designed to simulate the 
height and width of an 18-month-old toddler as they are presented in 
the rear visibility system display. This photograph would then be used 
to assess the compliance of the rear visibility system by determining 
if the required portions of the seven test objects, located along the 
perimeter of the required field of view, are visible and displayed at a 
sufficient size.

e. Summary of Comments on the NPRM

    In response to the NPRM, the agency received comments from a wide 
variety of commenters including trade associations, manufacturers, 
advocacy groups, parts suppliers, and individuals. The advocacy groups 
submitting comments included KidsAndCars.org, the Insurance Institute 
for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Automotive Occupant Restraints Council, 
the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Consumers Union, and the 
Advocates for Highway Safety (the Advocates). In addition to the trade 
associations representing manufacturers including the Alliance of 
Automobile Manufacturers (the Alliance), the National Truck Equipment 
Association (NTEA), the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association 
(MEMA), the School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council, and Global 
Automakers, we also received comments from individual vehicle 
manufacturers such as Toyota Motor North America (Toyota), Volkswagen 
Group of America (Volkswagen), Porsche Cars North America (Porsche), 
Ford Motor Company (Ford), American Honda Motor Co. (Honda), Mercedes-
Benz USA (Mercedes), General Motors Company (General Motors), and BMW 
Group (BMW). Additionally, the equipment manufacturers commenting on 
the NPRM included Brigade Electronics (Brigade), Gentex Corporation 
(Gentex), Magna Mirrors and Magna Electronics (Magna), Sony Electronics 
(Sony), Panasonic Corporation of North America (Panasonic), Sense 
Technologies, Rosco Vision Systems (Rosco), Rearscope North America 
(Rearscope), Continental, Valeo, IFM Electronic (IFM), and Delphi. 
Finally, the agency also received approximately 150 comments from 
individual commenters. In general, the commenters expressed support for 
the goals of this rulemaking pursuant to the K.T. Safety Act. However, 
many offered various recommendations on the most appropriate manner 
through which to achieve those goals.
    The primary issue raised by the advocacy groups concerned our 
proposed test procedure for evaluating compliance with the field of 
view requirement. The advocacy groups were concerned that, as the 
proposed test procedure did not require that the field of view begin at 
the bumper, nor did it require that a large portion of the first row of 
test objects (placed 1 foot behind the bumper) be visible, significant 
blind spots can exist in a theoretically compliant rear visibility 
system. Citing the SCI cases and the Monte Carlo simulation used by the 
agency to determine the proposed coverage area of the field of view 
requirement, the advocacy groups requested that the final rule address 
these potential blind zones. Another issue raised by the advocacy 
groups involved their recommendation that image response time be 
reduced to 1.0 second or less. The advocacy groups asserted that there 
is a significant safety risk that drivers may begin backing their 
vehicles without the benefit of the rear visibility system if they are 
not promptly presented with the required field of view.
    On the other hand, while vehicle manufacturers generally support 
the rule, the most significant concern raised by the manufacturer 
comments focused on the cost and feasibility of specific performance 
requirements within the proposed phase-in schedule. First, the 
manufacturers asserted that the agency was wrong to assume, as it did 
in the NPRM, that most rearview video systems that are currently in use 
by the manufacturers would meet all of the proposed requirements in the 
NPRM. For example, many manufacturers commented that their current 
rearview video systems would not be able to meet the response time 
requirement under certain situations. The NPRM proposed a response time 
requirement which prescribed that the compliant rearview image must be 
displayed within 2.0 seconds of selecting the reverse gear. The 
manufacturers commented that many of their rear visibility systems 
require initialization time and would not be able to meet the response 
time if the reverse gear was selected soon after the vehicle is 
activated. Thus, many

[[Page 19191]]

manufacturer comments requested various vehicle preconditions that 
would accommodate their rear visibility system initialization process. 
Similarly, the manufacturers were concerned their existing systems 
would not fully meet all of the image size, display luminance, 
deactivation, and linger time requirements.
    As a result, the manufacturers were concerned that the proposed 
phase-in schedule would require that the manufacturers conduct 
redesigns to their existing rear visibility systems outside of the 
normal product development cycle. They contended in their comments that 
such a scenario would significantly increase the costs and burdens of 
compliance. Thus, the manufacturers requested that the agency delay 
some of the aforementioned requirements until the end of the statutory 
phase-in deadline in order afford manufacturers time to redesign their 
rear visibility systems in conjunction with the normal vehicle redesign 
schedule.
    The equipment manufacturer comments, to varying degrees, contended 
that their products were able to meet the proposed requirements in the 
NPRM. Generally, commenters such as Sony, Magna, and Gentex expressed 
confidence that their products can be used to bring a vehicle into 
compliance with the proposed requirements. However, other suppliers, 
such as Sense Technologies, IFM Electronic, and Valeo, stated that the 
NPRM should not have concluded that technologies such as mirrors and 
sensors were not suitable countermeasures. In addition, suppliers 
offered comments as to the potential new rear visibility systems 
technologies that were being developed (such as automatic brake 
intervention, combination sensor/video systems, infrared or Doppler 
radar systems, etc.). Thus, many supplier comments requested that the 
agency avoid setting requirements that restrict the development of new 
technologies and rearview functions.
    Finally, individual commenters expressed either general support or 
general opposition to the goals of this rule. The individual commenters 
expressing support for this rule generally cite the vulnerability of 
the population that is most likely to be victimized by this safety 
risk. A significant portion of these commenters either suffered a 
significant personal loss due to a backing crash or had an acquaintance 
who suffered a significant personal loss due to a backing crash. On the 
other hand, commenters opposed to this rule cited its high costs and 
questioned its potential effectiveness. Of these commenters, many 
opined that the more prudent manner in which to address the safety 
risks related with backover incidents is through driver training and 
education.

f. Public Hearing and Workshop

    After publishing the NPRM, the agency decided to further solicit 
comments from the public by holding a public hearing and a technical 
workshop. On March 2, 2011, the agency published a notice in the 
Federal Register announcing these events.\43\ The technical workshop 
was held on March 11, 2011 at NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center 
in East Liberty, Ohio. The goal of this workshop was to provide a forum 
in which interested commenters could demonstrate their specific 
concerns with the agency's proposed test procedure. The public hearing 
was held on March 23, 2011, at the NHTSA headquarters in the U.S. 
Department of Transportation in Washington DC. This hearing provided an 
opportunity for the agency to hear from advocacy groups, organizations 
that provide rearview countermeasures, and the families of backover 
crash victims.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ 76 FR 11417.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The participants in the technical workshop included representatives 
from Volkswagen, Sense Technologies, the Alliance, Global Automakers, 
Honda, Ford, Mitsubishi, and KidsAndCars.org. The participants 
generally presented areas they believed could be clarified regarding 
the proposed test procedure. The majority of the areas discussed were 
also presented in the various comments submitted in response to the 
NPRM such as durability testing, deactivation issues, and luminance 
testing. However, certain unique comments (such as concerns regarding 
vehicle loading procedure, rearview mirror positioning, etc.) were 
discussed during the technical workshop. These issues will be 
identified and responded to in conjunction with the written comments in 
the sections that follow.
    The participants in the public hearing included KidsAndCars.org, 
the National Consumers League, the Consumers Union, Sense Technologies, 
Annabelle's Angels, the Advocates, the Consumer Federation of America, 
and family members of victims of backover crashes including the 
Auriemma, Ivison, Dahlen, Gridley, Gulbransen, Nelson, and Anthony 
families. The participants in the public hearing expressed general 
support for the proposed rule. In addition to reiterating some of the 
technical comments that the advocacy groups submitted on the NPRM, 
participants in the public hearing generally underscored the high non-
economic and human cost that is associated with backover incidents. 
KidsAndCars.org noted that in 70 percent of the cases that they have 
compiled, the child victim was a direct relative of the driver. Mr. 
Patrick Ivison, a 16 year old who was a victim of a backover crash as a 
toddler, also testified to the many challenges that he faces by living 
with the lifelong injuries that he suffered. Participants also noted 
other unquantifiable costs such as parents who commit suicide when they 
are unable to forgive themselves for their involvement in a backover 
crash.
    The families of victims cited the inability of drivers to see 
behind vehicles as an important danger. Many of their cases involved 
drivers who had walked around the rear of the vehicle or had been 
present at the rear of the vehicle shortly before entering the vehicle 
and beginning the reverse maneuver. The Consumers Union also noted 
observational evidence that children often walk along the rear bumpers 
of vehicles as they travel to the other side of the vehicle. In 
general, the participants in the public hearing refuted the idea that 
victims of backover incidents are limited to irresponsible parents or 
caretakers.

g. Additional 2012 Research

    As described above, the agency conducted additional research and 
analysis covering a wider range of driver and an additional vehicle 
type. Specifically, the additional testing parameters examined whether 
variations in driver and vehicle type would have any impacts on NHTSA's 
estimates regarding drivers' use of backing aid technologies to avoid 
backover crashes.

Research Design--Wider Range of Vehicle Types and Drivers

    In order to examine whether variations in driver and vehicle type 
would have any unanticipated impacts on NHTSA's estimates, the agency 
conducted additional testing utilizing a sedan. Further, the agency 
sought to more closely balance the ratio of male and female 
participants in this latest study and include a broader age range among 
the study participants.
    In terms of vehicle type, NHTSA's previous studies had focused on 
minivans and crossover utility vehicles to examine drivers' use of 
backing aid technologies. While we acknowledge that vehicles have 
different blind zones (and that this would intuitively have an impact 
on the backover crash risk), the agency believes that our previous

[[Page 19192]]

research evaluating human behavior using a single vehicle can be 
applied across the vehicle fleet. We believe this is appropriate 
because the data show that virtually all vehicles have a blind zone 
that covers at least the area directly behind the vehicle where our 
Monte Carlo simulation suggested that backover crash risk is the 
highest. Thus, the agency's previous studies, for example utilizing the 
Honda Odyssey to examine effectiveness in avoiding backover crashes, 
should approximate the vast majority of vehicles on the road.
    However, the agency decided to conduct an additional study using a 
midsized sedan (the Nissan Altima). We note that the choices of vehicle 
type for testing were constrained to vehicles that had significant 
numbers of drivers both with and without cameras. Thus, we were unable 
to test vehicles at the extremes for large or small blind zone sizes. 
However, we reasoned that while drivers of a smaller vehicle may not 
have an actual improved view of the what the Monte Carlo simulation 
indicates would be relevant area behind the vehicle, as compared to a 
minivan or SUV, it may be possible that their behavior can be different 
due to drivers' own perception of the size of the vehicle blind zone. 
Thus, additional testing was designed to ensure that this factor would 
not have any unanticipated effects on NHTSA's estimates on the ability 
of drivers to use backing aid technologies to avoid backover crashes.
    In terms of driver demographics, the agency more closely balanced 
the ratio of male and female participants in the 2012 study. Further, 
the agency sought to include a broader age range among the study 
participants (earlier studies had participants between the ages of 25 
and 55). The agency believes that the participants in NHTSA's earlier 
studies can approximate the performance of drivers involved in backover 
crashes because (when faced with a potential backover crash situation) 
all drivers are unable to see the relevant areas behind the vehicle 
with the greatest crash risk. Further, we assumed that different 
characteristics between various driver demographics (such as age or 
gender) would not affect drivers' use of backing aid systems. However, 
the agency decided to examine further this assumption as well. While 
all drivers would have the same opportunity to view a pedestrian using 
a rearview video system, NHTSA decided to include participants with a 
broader set of driver demographic characteristics to see whether or not 
the inclusion of these drivers would lead to a statistically different 
result due to potential unforeseen factors (e.g., comfort level with 
the system). Thus, NHTSA's 2012 research included drivers of broader 
age and gender characteristics.

Research Design--New Test Object Presentation (Laterally Moving Test 
Object)

    In addition to examining a different type of vehicle and a wider 
range of drivers, the agency also had the opportunity to examine how 
drivers would react to a different obstacle presentation method. 
Through this test, the agency sought to determine if a different test 
object presentation could have any unanticipated effects on the 
agency's estimates of the driver's ability to use backing aid 
technologies to avoid backover crashes. Thus, separately, the new 
research also included a different backover test where the test object 
laterally moved into the vehicle's backing path from the passenger side 
of the vehicle (in addition to utilizing the original test object 
presentation method where the test object would pop-up behind the 
vehicle).
    As the intent of these studies was to isolate the ability of the 
driver to use the backing aid technology to avoid a backover crash with 
a test object that is otherwise unseen and unanticipated, the agency 
designed its previous tests to utilize a pop-up test object 
presentation.\44\ Because the agency is aware that many cases involve 
drivers who walked around their vehicles before getting into the 
vehicle and starting a backing maneuver, we designed this pop-up test 
method to represent the surprise presence of the pedestrian--including 
the pedestrian's movement into the vehicle's backing path. The pop-up 
presentation method is a reasonable representation of a person that is 
either not visible to the driver using the standard vehicle equipment 
(for the duration of the backing maneuver), or visible to the driver 
using the same equipment (but was not observed by the driver). We 
believe that the pop-up presentation method is a reasonable estimate of 
these two conditions because the test object is presented to the test 
participant after he/she has begun the backing maneuver. In other 
words, the presentation of the test object is limited to the time after 
the test participant has checked his/her surroundings and decided that 
they could conduct a backing maneuver. As there is no evidence to 
suggest that any significant portion of the victims of backover crashes 
were a result of a driver intentionally backing over a pedestrian, the 
aforementioned two situations likely represent the vast majority of 
situations in which persons are injured or killed in backover crashes. 
We assume that a driver who has observed a person moving behind the 
vehicle using rearview mirrors would attempt to stop immediately.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ The test presented the pop-up test object only after the 
driver had backed the vehicle a specified distance. In other words, 
the driver began his backing maneuver before the test object 
appeared.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, the agency is aware that backover crashes involve a wide 
variety of factors (e.g., the movement of the pedestrian, the time at 
which the vehicle's backing maneuver begins, the trajectory/speed of 
the vehicle, etc.). Thus, the agency's new research included a 
different obstacle presentation method to help determine whether the 
new obstacle presentation could have any unanticipated effects on the 
driver's ability to use the rearview video system. By maintaining 
consistency with the pop-up test object presentation method (e.g., in 
vehicle model, obstacle presentation time in the rearview video system, 
etc.), the agency designed a similarly reasonable test to approximate 
the surprise presence of a pedestrian (that measures the same crash 
situations as the pop-up presentation method).\45\ In doing so, the 
agency sought to determine whether driver use of the rearview video 
system would be statistically different if the test object was 
presented in a fashion where it approached the vehicle laterally from 
the passenger side. Thus, the agency's 2012 research included the new 
presentation method where the test object enters the vehicle's backing 
path from the passenger side in addition to the original pop-up test 
object presentation method.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ Further information on the test parameters are available in 
the research report (Rearview Video System Use by Drivers of a Sedan 
in an Unexpected Obstacle Event). This report is available in Docket 
No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0253.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Summary of Research Test Conditions
    For those aforementioned reasons, the agency tested three different 
conditions as outlined in Table 10, below. In all test conditions for 
the 2012 research, the agency used the Nissan Altima (a midsized sedan) 
as the test vehicle. Further, the agency closely balanced the ratio of 
male and female participants and included drivers above age 18.

[[Page 19193]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR07AP14.004

Research Results
    The test conditions described above can be used to answer two 
questions. The first is whether or not (using the same pop-up test 
object presentation method) the new drivers and vehicle type (more 
balanced gender distribution, the different vehicle type, and the 
broader age range) would contribute to a result that was statistically 
different. The second is whether or not (using similar driver 
demographic characteristics and the same vehicle) the different test 
object presentation method (moving test object versus pop-up test 
object) would produce a statistically different result.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ The baseline (no system) test condition with a pop-up test 
object was not tested in NHTSA's 2012 research. As in NHTSA's 
previous studies, the pop-up test object is presented in the 
vehicle's blind zone and the driver does not have an opportunity to 
view the test object through the vehicle mirrors or direct vision. 
In NHTSA's previous studies, no driver was able to avoid a collision 
with the pop-up test object without the use of a rear visibility 
system. As the Nissan Altima blind zone also prevents the driver 
from seeing the area where the pop-up test object would deploy, 
drivers would likewise be unable to avoid a collision with the pop-
up test object in the baseline test condition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After completing 143 tests using the three aforementioned test 
conditions, the agency obtained the following results:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR07AP14.005

    Among all of NHTSA's test conditions in the 2012 research 
(including both test object presentation methods), the rearview video 
system increased drivers' ability to avoid crashes with the test 
objects. In each of the cases, the difference between the baseline (no 
rear visibility system) condition and the rearview video system 
condition was statistically significant. In other words, all of the 
test data continue to show that rearview video systems have a 
statistically significant effect of improving the driver's ability to 
avoid a backover crash.
    However, in spite of the aforementioned new test parameters 
(vehicle/driver types and obstacle presentation method) that were 
introduced into NHTSA's 2012 research, the results do not show that the 
new test parameters created statistically different results from 
NHTSA's previous studies.\47\ When comparing the results of the Nissan 
Altima pop-up obstacle tests (with the additional driver demographic 
characteristics) to NHTSA's previous studies using the Honda Odyssey 
and the same test object presentation method, the results do not show 
that the inclusion of the different vehicle type and additional driver 
demographic characteristics led to a statistically different 
result.\48\ Finally,

[[Page 19194]]

when comparing the results of the moving test object presentation 
method and the pop-up test object presentation method (utilizing the 
same vehicle and driver demographic characteristics), the results also 
did not show a statistical difference.\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ While the agency's research included as many participants 
as time and resources permitted, the agency's new research 
parameters yielded lower, but not statistically different 
effectiveness estimates compared to its previous research. We 
acknowledge that testing additional participants may have enabled 
the agency to detect a statistical difference between these factors. 
However, the agency is not currently aware of any research that can 
indicate what this difference would be.
    \48\ See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0253, Rearview Video System 
Use by Drivers of a Sedan in an Unexpected Obstacle Scenario. While 
this comparison shows that the data does not indicate a 
statistically different result due to the combination of the new 
driver demographics and vehicle type, the data also does not 
indicate whether or not the individual driver or vehicle type 
factors could have yielded a statistically different result. We note 
that in a separate analysis of the data from NHTSA's previous 
studies using the Honda Odyssey (where obstacle presentation, 
participant age, and vehicle type are all consistent) the male and 
female drivers did not crash with the test objects at statistically 
different rates.
    \49\ An analysis of the statistical significance of the 
difference between the pop-up and moving test object presentation 
methods is available in the research report titled ``Rearview Video 
System Use by Drivers of a Sedan in an Unexpected Obstacle 
Scenario.'' See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0253.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

h. Additional SCI Case Analysis

    As described above, the agency began a new effort to identify and 
analyze SCI cases that involved vehicles with rearview video systems. 
The agency's intention was to examine any such cases available in order 
to better understand how the performance requirements proposed in the 
NPRM address the real world backover safety risk.\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ The agency's SCI program conducts detailed investigations 
for specific crashes that fall under a variety of crash types that 
NHTSA has decided to research (e.g., backover crashes). As a part of 
this program, NASS reports to NHTSA any cases that fall under the 
crash types that NHTSA has identified when sampling police 
jurisdictions. In addition, SCI teams search the internet and other 
sources to help identify these cases. For this particular research 
effort, NHTSA specifically instructed the SCI program to identify 
cases from their respective sources of information that are backover 
crashes involving vehicles with rearview video systems. We also 
instructed the SCI program to conduct a search of any existing 
reported cases to identify whether any were backover crashes 
involving vehicles with rearview video systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given the volume of comments received and the issues raised on 
those comments, the agency believed that SCI case analysis may indicate 
whether some of those concerns raised in the comments warrant further 
analysis. For example, in the NPRM, the agency proposed to test the 20-
foot by 10-foot zone behind the vehicle using various test objects and 
the agency subsequently received various comments on whether testing 
using those test objects would ensure that the rearview video system 
would cover the areas behind the vehicle associated with the greatest 
backover crash risk. The agency reasoned, that an SCI case where a 
rearview video system was installed on the vehicle could offer 
additional insight into whether a crash happened under circumstances 
where a rearview video system covering the required portions of the 
test objects did not show the pedestrian behind the vehicle. After 
reviewing all the available cases prior to today's final rule, the 
agency identified two cases involving vehicles with rearview video 
systems.
     Case No. DS11008: In the first case, an elderly man 
driving a 2006 Prius (equipped with an OEM \51\ rearview video system) 
struck an elderly woman in his driveway.\52\ The technical report 
states that the elderly man was reversing the Prius along the driveway 
at a private residence when he struck an elderly woman standing in the 
driveway directly behind the vehicle. The driver stated that he did not 
remember whether he used any of the vehicle's mirrors or the vehicle's 
rearview video system but recalls looking straight ahead prior to the 
impact with the non-motorist. The driver stopped the vehicle after 
hearing yelling. The non-motorist sustained a contusion to the left 
knee and possible left rib fractures. She was transported to a local 
hospital several hours after the incident.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ OEM refers to equipment that was originally installed on 
the vehicle as produced by the manufacturer.
    \52\ Case No. DS11008. The technical report is available at the 
SCI XML Case Viewer Web site (http://www-nass.nhtsa.dot.gov/nass/sci/SearchForm.aspx).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Case No. CR13011: In the second case, a 30-year-old male 
driver of a 2010 BMW X5 (equipped with an OEM rearview video system) 
struck a non-motorist while reversing his vehicle in a parking lot.\53\ 
The narrative in the report states that the non-motorist had stopped 
directly behind the vehicle because the non-motorist was distracted by 
flying birds. The driver selected the reverse gear (automatically 
activating the vehicle's rearview video system) and released his foot 
from the brake. The driver reapplied the brake as soon as he identified 
the non-motorist in the rearview image. However, the vehicle did not 
come to a complete stop before striking the non-motorist. The driver 
stated that when the vehicle is first started, the display (that is 
used to show the rearview image) has a boot sequence. The driver stated 
that he allowed the vehicle to begin reversing prior to the rearview 
image appearing in the vehicle display. The non-motorist sustained no 
significant injury and stood up unassisted after the incident. The non-
motorist declined further medical treatment after being evaluated by 
paramedics.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ Case No. CR13011. The technical report is available at the 
SCI Electronic Case Viewer Web site (http://www-nass.nhtsa.dot.gov/BIN/logon.exe/airmislogon).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While neither of these two cases provides conclusive data, the 
second (Case No. CR13011) seems to suggest that an important 
characteristic for rearview video systems intending to address the 
backover safety problem is the ability of the system to quickly show 
the rearview image. As shown by the facts leading up to the accident in 
Case No. CR13011, a rearview video system that is still initializing 
after the vehicle has begun reversing may not afford the driver enough 
time to identify a pedestrian behind the vehicle and avoid a backover 
crash.
    Although the information in these two cases are useful, the agency 
does not believe that conducting further analysis between now and 
January 2, 2015 will substantially add to our understanding.\54\ After 
examining all of the cases that the agency has investigated up to this 
point (only two of which involve vehicles with rearview video systems), 
it seems unlikely that many additional cases involving rearview video 
systems will be available for analysis by January 2, 2015. Given this 
expectation and the safety impact of further delay of today's final 
rule, the Department decided to complete the analysis of the available 
cases and report the results of the analysis at this time so that the 
Department could move forward with issuing today's final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ In addition to analyzing SCI cases with rearview video 
systems, the agency also considered analyzing rearview video systems 
currently installed in the vehicle fleet to see whether there was 
sufficient data to measure the real world impact of rearview video 
systems. The agency reasoned that it might be possible to measure 
this impact because: (1) The adoption of rearview video systems in 
new vehicle sales has been increasing substantially in recent years, 
and (2) the available testing data (coupled with the agency's 
difficulty in identifying SCI cases with rearview video systems) 
suggest that these systems would have a beneficial effect in 
reducing backover crashes. However, after analyzing the cumulative 
installation of rearview video systems in the vehicle fleet (i.e., 
identifying the number of vehicles currently on the roads that have 
these systems), the agency determined that too little data exist at 
this point in time to enable the agency to measure the current 
impact of rearview video systems on reducing backover injuries and 
fatalities. Our data on cumulative sales show that, in MY 2011, 
nearly 20% of passenger cars and light trucks were sold with a 
rearview video system. However, the total fleet (all vehicles 
currently operating on U.S. roads) with rearview video systems in 
2011 was only 2.8%. Given the target population of this rule (210 
fatalities and 15,000 injuries), we concluded that too little data 
exist at this time to make any conclusions about the impact of 
rearview video systems in reducing injuries and fatalities at this 
time. Further details about this analysis is available in the Final 
Regulatory Impact Analysis accompanying this rule in the docket 
referenced at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. Updates to NCAP

    As stated in the Department's letter to Congress establishing the 
January 2, 2015 deadline for issuing today's final rule, NHTSA would 
consider updating its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 
information about rearview video systems and recommend to consumers 
vehicle models with this important safety feature. While this

[[Page 19195]]

update to NCAP would be a separate agency consideration from today's 
final rule, we reasoned that it would be appropriate to consider 
updates to NCAP on this subject given the large amount of available 
information on backover crashes and their countermeasures that can be 
useful for consumers. Since then, NHTSA issued a request for comments 
to consider a plan for updating NCAP \55\ and has issued a final 
decision notice to implement this change to the program \56\ after 
considering the public comments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ 78 FR 38266.
    \56\ 78 FR 59866.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In our final decision notice, the agency adopted a plan to update 
NCAP based on the request for comments and the public comments 
received. In essence, the agency decided to include rearview video 
systems as a ``Recommended Advanced Technology Feature'' \57\ on the 
NCAP Web site (www.safercar.gov). As long as a vehicle model has a 
rearview video system meeting three performance criteria, 
www.safercar.gov will recognize the vehicle model a having a 
``Recommended Advanced Technology Feature.'' The three performance 
criteria are based on the proposed field of view, image size, and 
response time requirements in the NPRM for this rulemaking. After 
considering the available information on the backover safety problem 
and the public comments, we determined that systems meeting these three 
criteria would be appropriate for ensuring that rearview video systems 
recommended by NCAP are systems that are suitable for assisting drivers 
in avoiding backover crashes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \57\ On www.safercar.gov, NCAP gives recommendations to 
consumers about various advanced technologies that the data show are 
able to address major crash problems. The Web site offers 
comparative information on the vehicle models offered for sale in 
the United States and shows which of those models have ``Recommended 
Advanced Technology Features.'' However, beyond simply communicating 
to consumers that these vehicles have these technologies, 
identifying a system as a ``Recommended Advanced Technology 
Feature'' also communicates to consumers that the system meets 
certain minimum performance criteria (criteria that ensure that the 
system was designed as a safety system as opposed to, for example, a 
convenience feature).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While the agency took this action to update NCAP, we acknowledged 
(in both the request for comments and the final decision notice) that 
updating NCAP to incorporate recommendations for vehicle models with 
rearview video systems is not a substitute for the action taken by the 
agency in today's final rule. However, we believe that this update to 
NCAP (to include rearview video systems) is appropriate and 
complementary to the agency's actions in today's final rule for a few 
reasons. First, we believe that all the available research on rearview 
video systems shows that these systems are able to help drivers avoid 
backover crashes. Second, there is no reason for the agency to delay 
informing consumers about the backover safety risk and encouraging 
manufacturers to install these systems on their vehicle models to help 
consumers avoid these crashes. Third, we believe that consumers should 
have an easy way to identify vehicle models with rearview video systems 
and compare vehicle models based on their installation of ``Recommended 
Advanced Technology Features.'' Fourth, NCAP criteria also help to 
encourage manufacturers to develop rearview video systems in a way that 
addresses the backover safety problem (as opposed to developing these 
systems as merely parking convenience features). Fifth, even after the 
promulgation of today's final rule, we believe that the latest update 
to NCAP will continue to encourage manufacturers to install rearview 
video systems on their vehicles ahead of the full compliance date 
(i.e., during the phase-in period).

III. Final Rule and Response to Comments

a. Summary of the Final Rule

    With a few notable exceptions, today's final rule adopts the 
performance requirements from the proposed rule in the NPRM. While also 
responding to concerns raised by commenters, today's rule adopts the 
following four requirements largely without change. First, this rule 
adopts the NPRM proposal that required manufacturers to install rear 
visibility systems that enable a driver to view an area encompassing 5 
feet laterally (to each side) from the longitudinal centerline of the 
vehicle and extending 20 feet rearward of the vehicle's rear bumper. 
Second, it also defines the required field of view through the 
placement of seven test objects along the perimeter of the field of 
view. Third, the required portions of these test objects that must be 
seen remain unchanged from the NPRM. Fourth, today's final rule also 
adopts the image size requirements proposed in the NPRM and thus 
requires that the three furthest test objects be displayed at an 
average subtended angle of no less than 5 minutes of arc.
    However, today's final rule has not adopted the same linger time 
and deactivation requirements as the NPRM. In response to the 
manufacturers' concerns that the linger time and deactivation 
restrictions in the proposed rule may preclude certain design features, 
today's final rule defines a backing event, which begins at the 
selection of reverse and ends when the vehicle's forward motion 
achieves either 10 mph, 10 meters, or 10 seconds in duration. Today's 
final rule linger time restriction allows rear visibility systems to 
remain activated until the end of the backing event. Further, today's 
rule does not preclude driver deactivation of the rearview image so 
long as the system defaults to the compliant field of view at the 
beginning of the backing event. By amending the linger time and 
deactivation restrictions in accordance with the backing event, today's 
final rule addresses both the agency's safety concerns and affords the 
manufacturers greater design flexibility.
    While the response time requirement remains unchanged from the 
NPRM, today's final rule adopts a test procedure to establish the 
vehicle condition prior to testing. In their comments, manufacturers 
were concerned that the vehicle software initialization process could 
prevent a rear visibility system from achieving compliance when tested 
immediately after a vehicle is started. They contended in their 
comments that such a test condition would not be reflective of real 
world use of a rear visibility system. To alleviate these concerns and 
to more accurately simulate real world conditions, today's final rule 
establishes a test condition in which the vehicle would be placed into 
reverse not less than 4 seconds and no more than 6 seconds after the 
opening of the driver's door.
    Today's final rule also adopts the durability performance 
requirements from the NPRM except today's rule applies those 
requirements on a component level instead of a vehicle level. While the 
commenters generally supported the agency's proposal of minimum 
performance requirements for humidity, corrosion, and temperature 
exposure, the commenters contended that these tests should be conducted 
on a component level as opposed to a vehicle level because the 
durability tests would present significant practical challenges if 
conducted on a vehicle level. As the agency believes that a component 
level test would be as effective in addressing our safety concerns as a 
vehicle level test, today's rule adopts the durability requirements 
from the NPRM on a component level.
    Further, today's final rule makes a few important changes to the 
phase-in requirements. First, unlike the NPRM, today's rule requires 
that manufacturers comply with only the field of view

[[Page 19196]]

requirement during the phase-in period, and requires that manufacturers 
comply with all provisions of today's final rule at the end of the 48-
month phase-in period. In the NPRM, the agency conducted its cost/
benefit analysis assuming that most currently available rear visibility 
systems were compliant or could be easily made compliant with all of 
the proposed requirements. Through the comment period, the agency 
learned that most current rear visibility systems do not meet all of 
the requirements set forth in today's final rule and could not be 
easily made compliant with all of the requirements established in 
today's final rule. While the agency believes that the requirements 
beyond the field of view are crucial in ensuring the quality of rear 
visibility systems in the long run, we have limited the phase-in 
schedule to be applicable only to the field of view requirement in 
order to avoid significantly increasing the costs of this rule by 
requiring that manufacturers conduct expensive equipment redesigns 
outside of the normal product cycle. In spite of this change, the 
agency does not expect the estimated benefits of this rule to be 
diminished during the phase-in period because the estimated benefits 
were based on research conducted using rear visibility systems which 
did not meet all the requirements established in today's final rule. 
However, the agency expects that this increased flexibility during the 
phase-in period will allow vehicle manufacturers to avoid incurring the 
significant costs associated with redesigning rear visibility systems 
outside of the normal product cycle and instead focus those resources 
on installing more rear visibility systems on a greater number of 
vehicles in the near term.
    Second, today's final rule does not utilize separate phase-in 
schedules for passenger cars and other vehicles such as MPVs and 
trucks. As discussed later in this notice, we find that requiring 
separate phase-ins for different types of vehicles could increase 
compliance costs without leading to an increase in application of the 
rear visibility countermeasure. Third, in light of the additional 
flexibilities granted above, today's final rule does not adopt the 
carry-forward credit system proposed in the NPRM. Finally, although the 
percentage targets of the fleet to be equipped with the required rear 
visibility system remain unchanged for each year, today's final rule 
adjusts the phase-in schedule so that the schedule does not begin until 
May 1, 2014 (with the first year requiring compliance being May 1, 2016 
to April 30, 2017).
    Separately, today's final rule does not adopt the luminance 
requirements from the NPRM. The luminance requirements proposed in the 
NPRM have significant practical challenges at this time. It is not 
clear that the proposed requirements would provide the intended safety 
benefits as a luminance requirement alone may not afford a driver a 
clear image of the area directly behind the vehicle. As the agency is 
unaware of any other practicable method of ensuring a quality display 
of the area behind the vehicle without restricting reasonable 
technological options, today's final rule does not contain luminance 
requirements.

b. Applicability

    The provisions of the K.T. Safety Act require a broad application 
of improved rear visibility countermeasures by defining the term 
``motor vehicle'' as vehicles less than 10,000 pounds excluding only 
motorcycles and trailers. However, the K.T. Safety Act allows the 
flexibility to prescribe different requirements for different types of 
vehicles. Thus, in the ANPRM, the agency considered various 
characteristics of the vehicles covered under the K.T. Safety Act and 
requested public comment. Specifically, the agency examined the 
relative backover crash risks associated with trucks, MPVs, and vans. 
Further, it examined the possible association between blind zone size 
and relative crash risk.
    The advocacy group and equipment manufacturer commenters on the 
ANPRM generally expressed support for universal applicability of rear 
visibility countermeasures to vehicles contemplated by the K.T. Safety 
Act. These commenters stated that widespread application affords the 
greatest level of protection and that the available data show that the 
backover crash problem is widely dispersed such that it should be 
applied to all vehicle types. On the other hand, vehicle manufacturers 
generally commented that the applicability of this rule should be 
limited to vehicles with the highest risk of backover crashes. Nissan 
and General Motors both recommended a maximum blind zone regulation to 
determine which vehicles require the rear visibility countermeasure. 
Mercedes specifically recommended that the agency limit the 
countermeasures to trucks, MPVs, and vans, should NHTSA find that those 
vehicles are overrepresented in the crash data.
    Separately, Blue Bird suggested in its comments that smaller buses 
not be included in any potential rule. Blue Bird stated that these 
buses have not been involved in fatalities, that drivers of such buses 
are better trained because they have commercial licenses, and that this 
regulation would impose a disproportionate amount of costs on these 
vehicles since small buses do not generally have navigation systems. 
Conversely, Rosco commented that small buses are often used to 
transport children and should be covered in any potential rules.
    After consideration of the comments on the ANPRM, NHTSA proposed in 
the NPRM to apply the rear visibility requirements to all vehicles with 
a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less (excluding motorcycles and trailers). 
The agency reasoned that, to apply rear visibility requirements 
consistently to all the aforementioned vehicles would best address the 
backover safety risk and fulfill the intent of Congress in the K.T. 
Safety Act. In regards to the safety risk, the agency noted that 
backover incidents are not limited to any particular type of vehicle 
and that no vehicle type provides the driver with a sufficient rear 
view to avoid the types of backover crashes contemplated by Congress in 
the K.T. Safety Act. Speaking specifically of MPVs, trucks, and vans, 
the NPRM noted that these vehicle types are overrepresented in fatal 
crashes. However, passenger cars still contribute to backover crashes 
(resulting in either an injury or a fatality) at a rate that is similar 
to their proportion of the vehicle fleet. Thus, the agency did not 
believe it would be in the best interests of safety to limit the 
rearview countermeasure to certain vehicle types. Further, the NPRM did 
not include a minimum blind zone threshold to determine the 
applicability of rearview countermeasures. The data available to the 
agency showed a correlation between the size of the blind zone and 
backing incidents when a wide area behind the vehicle is considered. 
However, the data showed a weak relationship between blind zone size 
and backing incidents when considering the areas immediately behind the 
vehicle where the agency believes backover crashes are most likely to 
occur.\58\
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    \58\ We also did not see a correlation between blind zone size 
and backover accidents. In 2008 we conducted an analysis based on 
blind zones and crash data for 28 vehicles. We did not find a 
statistically significant correlation between blind zone and 
backover risk, but we have not studied this issue further since that 
time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While acknowledging the difficulties cited by Blue Bird, we 
proposed to include small buses under the proposed rule for similar 
reasons as described above. In the NPRM, we tentatively concluded that 
to exclude small buses

[[Page 19197]]

would be contrary to the intent of Congress in the K.T. Safety Act as 
the intent of Congress was to apply improved field of view requirements 
to all the vehicles covered by the K.T. Safety Act. The agency further 
noted that small buses are often involved in transporting children and 
do not afford a rear field of view which enables a driver to avoid the 
backing incidents contemplated by Congress.
    While noting that commenters on the ANPRM did not comment on the 
issue of the applicability of this rule to low-speed vehicles, the 
agency proposed to include low-speed vehicles under the proposed rule. 
NHTSA stated in the NPRM that it could not determine, from the 
available data, whether or not low-speed vehicles have been involved in 
real world backover incidents. Thus, the NPRM sought data relating to 
the involvement of low-speed vehicles in rear world backover incidents.
Comments
    In general, the comments that the agency received in response to 
the NPRM have reiterated the concerns put forward by the commenters on 
the ANPRM. Both the Advocates and Brigade commented that there should 
be no exclusion of any vehicles that are covered under the K.T. Safety 
Act. IIHS supported these sentiments specifically stating that sport 
utility vehicles should be subject to the improved rear visibility 
requirements of this rulemaking. The Advocates went on to assert that 
the lack of recorded case incidents should not preclude the agency from 
concluding that a vehicle type (such as school buses) presents a safety 
risk. The organization also contended that while the operational 
conditions of certain vehicles may have additional safeguards, it is 
possible that those conditions will change during the life of the 
vehicle. In the example of school buses, the Advocates noted that while 
school buses generally have operating procedures and experienced 
drivers to safeguard children; such buses can be re-purposed for 
different activities.
    Conversely, different commenters expressed support for excluding 
certain types of vehicles from the requirements of this rulemaking. The 
School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council commented that school buses 
should be excluded from the rear visibility requirements. The 
organization asserted that current regulations already afford 
additional and adequate rear visibility requirements for school buses. 
Further, the organization reasoned that (1) school buses typically do 
not transport the most vulnerable population (0-5 year olds), (2) 
school children around school buses are normally supervised by adults, 
and (3) school bus drivers have more stringent commercial driver's 
license training. Without offering additional information, the Alliance 
commented that police vehicles should not be subject to the improved 
rear visibility requirements. Additionally, an individual commenter, 
Mr. Ben Montgomery conveyed in his comments that rearview video systems 
will add no improvement to rear visibility for low-speed vehicles and 
opined that to require additional rear visibility for low-speed 
vehicles would be excessive. Finally, Porsche asserted that passenger 
cars should be addressed in a separate rulemaking, as passenger cars 
(especially smaller vehicles) have different visibility needs. It 
contended that NHTSA should not take a ``one-size fits all'' approach 
to improving rear visibility.
    Further, while the NPRM did not include a provision for determining 
applicability of this rule based on a vehicle blind zone threshold, 
IIHS continued to express concern regarding the large blind zones that 
can exist on some vehicle models. The organization stated that NHTSA 
should regulate the size of vehicle blind spots because manufacturers 
should be precluded from making design choices which create unusually 
large blind zones.
    Finally, the agency received comments from individuals requesting 
that today's final rule apply to vehicles not contemplated by the K.T. 
Safety Act. Specifically, various individual commenters suggested that 
trailers, garbage trucks, and other vehicles with a GVWR greater than 
10,000 pounds often have even larger blind zones than the vehicles 
included in this rulemaking and should be covered by today's final 
rule.
Agency Response
    For the reasons that we noted in the NPRM, today's final rule 
applies to all vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, except 
for motorcycles and trailers, as was contemplated in the K.T. Safety 
Act. It continues to be the position of this agency that the K.T. 
Safety Act requires that today's final rule expand rear visibility 
requirements for all vehicles covered by the Act. In addition, the 
agency believes that there are compelling safety reasons for applying 
the rear visibility requirements of today's final rule to all the 
aforementioned vehicles. While many commenters contended that the 
requirements of today's final rule should apply differently to 
different vehicle types, the available data do not support such a 
contention. As discussed above, backover crashes are not limited to any 
particular type of vehicle and the agency is not aware of any vehicle 
type that categorically provides the driver with a sufficient rear 
field of view so as to avoid the types of backover incidents 
contemplated by Congress in the K.T. Safety Act.\59\ Thus, in addition 
to the constraints placed on the agency by the K.T. Safety Act, the 
agency does not believe it is appropriate to apply the requirements of 
today's final rule based on vehicle type.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \59\ The rule requires rearview video systems in all covered 
vehicles, regardless of whether a driver of a particular vehicle has 
full view of the zone behind the vehicle by looking directly out of 
the rear of the vehicle or by looking in rearview or side mirrors. 
As discussed below, the agency is aware of one LSV where this may be 
the case. Manufacturers of other types of vehicles who believe the 
blind zone of their particular vehicle is designed so as to enable 
drivers to avoid backover crashes without a rear visibility system 
are also able to petition the agency as described in that section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While we agree with the aforementioned commenters that school buses 
and police vehicles may have unique operating conditions, such as more 
stringent driver training, we do not believe that such operating 
conditions sufficiently compensate for the fact that drivers of these 
vehicles simply do not have access to a field of view that would enable 
them to avoid backover crashes. We note that school buses and police 
vehicles often operate in residential areas and can have significant 
exposure to young children and the elderly.
    Further, we note that the latest agency research indicate that low-
speed vehicle blind zones vary greatly within this vehicle class. Some 
also contain significant blind zones similar to other passenger cars 
and light trucks. However, some others may have very small blind 
zones.\60\ As low-speed vehicles may have a GVWR of up to 3,000 lbs., 
these vehicles are also fully capable of causing injury and death to 
vulnerable pedestrians.\61\ As backover crashes do not typically occur 
at speeds above 25 mph (the top speed of low-speed vehicles), we 
believe it is appropriate to include low-speed vehicles in today's 
final rule. Further, the agency requested comment on low-speed vehicles 
in the NPRM and sought information as to whether the agency could 
reasonably conclude that low-speed vehicles present no unreasonable 
risk of backover crashes, but no

[[Page 19198]]

commenter provided any substantive information on this point. 
Therefore, the agency cannot reasonably exclude, as a category, low-
speed vehicles from the requirements of today's rule because the 
available information suggests that the visibility needs of these 
vehicles vary widely within the vehicle class.\62\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ See Mazzae, E. N. (2013), Direct Rear Visibility 
Measurement Data: 2010-11 Passenger Cars and 2008-2010 Low-Speed 
Vehicles, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, available 
at Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0252.
    \61\ However, as we mentioned in the NPRM, the agency is not 
aware of any backover crash involving a low-speed vehicle. Our 
information, at this point in time, continues to be the same.
    \62\ The agency also considered offering an alternative 
compliance option for certain low-speed vehicles, based on their 
direct view visibility. However, to adopt an alternative compliance 
option during the final rule stage would raise questions regarding 
the scope of notice. We note that various options are available to 
low-speed vehicle manufacturers who believe that their vehicles are 
designed so as to enable drivers to avoid backover crashes without a 
rear visibility system. Such manufacturers may petition for a 
temporary exemption under 49 CFR Part 555 if they can demonstrate 
that their vehicle design is as safe as vehicles complying with the 
standard. They may also petition the agency for rulemaking to afford 
such vehicles (offering an equivalent level of safety) an additional 
compliance option in FMVSS No. 111. (See Section III. c. Alternative 
Countermeasures, below, for further information on petitioning the 
agency for further rulemaking). Finally, we note that the phase-in 
schedule adopted by today's final rule is unlikely to require any 
low-speed vehicles to comply with today's final rule until the final 
100% compliance date in 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As mentioned in the NPRM, we also decline to separate passenger 
cars from this rulemaking. While we acknowledge that smaller passenger 
cars have different visibility needs from large MPVs and trucks, the 
data show that a large and significant portion of backover crashes are 
attributable to passenger cars. Further, the data indicate a positive, 
but not statistically robust, relationship between the size of the 
blind zone of a given passenger vehicle and the likelihood that it may 
be involved in a backing crash (i.e., all types of reverse 
crashes).\63\ In addition, the areas immediately behind the vehicle, 
which are covered by the blind zone of virtually all vehicles, are the 
areas that the Monte Carlo simulation indicates are associated with the 
highest backover crash risk (risk of crashes in the reverse direction 
with pedestrians or cyclists). Thus, today's final rule applies equally 
to all vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less (regardless of the 
size of the vehicle's blindzone), except for motorcycles and trailers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \63\ As the crash data is more scarce for backover crashes, most 
of our research has focused on the relationship between blind zones 
and backing crashes (rather than the relationship between blind 
zones and backover crashes). NHTSA performed two analyses of the 
relationship between rear blind zone size and backing crash 
incidence. The first used human-measured rear visibility data and is 
reported in detail in the docketed 2008 NHTSA report ``Rear 
Visibility and Backing Risk in Crashes'' (Docket No. NHTSA-2009-
0041-0003). The second, subsequent analysis used vehicle rear 
visibility data acquired using a laser-based visibility measurement 
technique and is summarized in the 2009 NHTSA report ``Rear 
Visibility Measured by Laser Light Beam Simulation of Driver Sight 
Line Compared to Backing Risk in Crashes'' (Docket No. NHTSA-2009-
0041-0053). These studies estimated backing crash risk from police-
reported crashes in the State Data System and compared this risk to 
the rear-visibility measurements. Simple correlations and logistic 
regression analysis suggested an association between the risk of a 
backing crash and the blind zone measured over a extremely wide area 
(50-60 feet in width by 50 feet longitudinal distance). However, the 
results were significantly weaker for blind zones measured in areas 
that we believe a driver would be using for a typical backing 
maneuver and for the longitudinal sight distance. NHTSA's also 
examined the relationship between blind zone size and backover 
crashes in 2008 and did not find a relationship. That study compared 
the 28 vehicles with available crash data and the agency has not 
updated the study since.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, we decline to regulate the size of vehicle blind zones 
(independently from determining the applicability of rearview 
countermeasures) in this rulemaking as suggested by the IIHS. While 
blind zone sizes were researched and explored in this rulemaking, this 
was done as a possible approach in which the agency could determine 
whether certain vehicle types should be required to have different rear 
visibility countermeasures. As regulating the size of the blind zone 
(independent of the purpose of detecting pedestrians immediately behind 
the vehicle) was never explored in this rulemaking process, we decline 
to include such a requirement in today's final rule.
    Finally, we also decline to extend today's final rule to cover 
trailers, garbage trucks, and other vehicles not contemplated by the 
K.T. Safety Act. While we acknowledge that many of these vehicles may 
also have significant blind zones, we have concentrated our research 
and rulemaking efforts on the vehicles mandated by Congress. We believe 
that, by focusing on the vehicles types covered in the K.T. Safety Act, 
this rulemaking is able to more appropriately address the types of 
crashes that Congress sought to avoid. To include and accommodate 
vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs or more (many of which are used for 
commercial purposes), the agency may be required to utilize a 
significantly different approach with different requirements and test 
procedures that may not be as closely tailored to avoiding the types of 
crashes contemplated by the K.T. Safety Act. Further, we note that 
backover crashes involving vehicles with a GVWR less than 10,000 lbs 
represent a significant majority of both fatalities and injuries. As 
this rulemaking has continuously focused exclusively on vehicles 
covered by the K.T. Safety Act, to introduce requirements regarding 
other vehicles in today's final rule would raise questions regarding 
the sufficiency of the scope of notice of this rulemaking. Thus, 
today's final rule declines to introduce such requirements at this 
time.

c. Alternative Countermeasures

    The provisions of the K.T. Safety Act require this rulemaking to 
expand the required field of view in order to enable drivers to detect 
areas behind the motor vehicle in order to reduce death and injuries 
resulting from backing incidents. Congress emphasized that the 
objectives of the K.T. Safety Act may be met through the provision of 
technologies such as additional mirrors, sensors, and cameras. In the 
NPRM, the agency understood Congress' intent as not to require that a 
driver literally see a rearview image because such a reading would 
render the aforementioned reference to sensors in the text of the K.T. 
Safety Act superfluous--thereby violating a basic canon of statutory 
interpretation. Accordingly, NHTSA has conducted research into the 
effectiveness of each of the suggested countermeasure technologies, 
reported its findings in both the ANPRM and NPRM, and has received 
comments in response to both notices.
    The agency has consistently noted that a successful rear visibility 
countermeasure must not only accurately detect objects behind the 
vehicle, but must also induce sufficient braking so as to avoid the 
crash. In the ANPRM, we examined the results noting the ongoing efforts 
of various studies intended to evaluate the effectiveness of mirror, 
sensor, and rearview video countermeasure systems. We outlined our 
observations which indicated that rear-mounted convex mirrors generally 
have a field of view of approximately 6 feet radially from the location 
of the mirror and significantly distort the image of the reflected 
objects.\64\ Further, while cross-view mirrors offer a greater range of 
view, they do not enable a driver to detect areas directly behind the 
vehicle.\65\ With regard to sensor systems, we noted that while 
commercially available systems have been designed as parking aids as 
opposed to safety devices, they have inconsistent performance for 
detecting small children.\66\ Further, the ANPRM cited a General 
Motors-sponsored study \67\ which indicated that sensor warnings 
generally failed to induce drivers to brake with sufficient force to 
avoid a backover crash. We also noted

[[Page 19199]]

in the ANPRM that our research indicated that drivers equipped with 
both rearview video systems and sensor systems seemed to avoid 
obstacles less successfully than drivers equipped with video-only 
systems.\68\ We conjectured that drivers may have looked at the video 
system less when also equipped with a sensor system, but we requested 
public comment on possible reasons for this observed trend.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ 75 FR 76197.
    \65\ Id.
    \66\ 75 FR 76198.
    \67\ 74 FR 9495; Green, C. and Deering, R. (2006). Driver 
Performance Research Regarding Systems for Use While Backing. 
Society of Automotive Engineers, Paper No. 2006-01-1982.
    \68\ 74 FR 9496.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several commenters on the ANPRM, including the Consumers Union, 
KidsAndCars.org, IIHS, Blue Bird, Magna, and Nissan stated that rear 
mounted mirror systems are generally not adequate for avoiding the 
backover crashes contemplated by Congress in the K.T. Safety Act. 
Several other commenters, including the Alliance and Mercedes, 
suggested that adopting the ECE R.46 regulation would help to prevent a 
substantial number of backover crashes. They reasoned that the ECE R.46 
regulation, which allows for convex driver side view mirrors (as 
opposed to the current FMVSS No. 111 requirement of a planar driver 
side view mirror), would afford drivers additional time to avoid 
backover crashes which involve pedestrians moving into the vehicle's 
reversing path from the side.
    Further, multiple commenters on the ANPRM, such as Delphi and 
Ackton, suggested that NHTSA's research may have underestimated the 
effectiveness of sensor systems as the available sensor systems were 
designed as parking aids and not for the purpose of detecting objects 
such as pedestrians. Other commenters such as Magna and Continental 
suggested that future applications of sensor technologies such as 
infrared systems and sensor-initiated automatic braking were in active 
development and would yield greater accuracy and effectiveness for 
sensor countermeasure technologies. Conversely, commenters such as IIHS 
noted that drivers' slow and inconsistent reactions to sensor warnings 
should preclude NHTSA from requiring or allowing sensors in lieu of 
rearview video systems.
    After the ANPRM, the agency conducted additional research in order 
to better determine the effectiveness of each countermeasure. Our 
additional research after the ANPRM indicated that drivers utilizing 
either the rear-mounted convex mirrors or the cross-view mirror systems 
were unable to avoid the unexpected obstacles that were presented 
during the test.\69\ Further, the same study found that even in tests 
with consistent (100%) object detection by the vehicle sensors, drivers 
reacted to the sensor warning in a way that avoided the backover crash 
in only 18 percent of the tests.\70\ Similar to the results of the 
General Motors study noted in the ANPRM, our research, including a 2010 
study, found that sensor warnings tended to induce drivers to apply 
some measure of braking or stop momentarily, but did not induce drivers 
to come to a complete stop so as to avoid the backover crash.\71\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \69\ 75 FR 76222-23. In its 2005 NPRM proposing to require 
straight trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of between 
4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) and 11,793 kilograms (26,000 pounds) 
to be equipped with a rear object detection system, the agency had 
tentatively estimated the effectiveness of mirrors using a 1984 
pilot study by Federal Express that purported to show a 33% 
effectiveness estimate for its trained drivers using backing mirror 
systems. See 70 FR 53753. While the agency cited these values in a 
previous notice, the pilot study results were never made available 
for public review and therefore could not be evaluated during the 
research for this rulemaking. Thus, we have utilized the data from 
the agency's research which show that drivers utilizing rear-mounted 
convex mirrors or the cross-view mirror systems were unable to avoid 
the unexpected obstacles that were presented during the test.
    \70\ While the NPRM (at 75 FR 76223) stated that drivers avoided 
the staged backover crash test objects only 7 percent of the time 
(as opposed to 18 percent), the NPRM data did not include results 
from the study where NHTSA conducted a similar controlled backover 
experiment to see if drivers would react better to rear visibility 
countermeasures in a setting where they expected the presence of 
children (the study was conducted in a day care parking lot). The 
NPRM referenced this study (at 75 FR 76226) and indicated that this 
study would be placed into the docket. Further, the agency docketed 
the results from this study on December 3, 2010 (Docket No. NHTSA-
2010-0162-0001)--shortly before the publication of the NPRM. 
However, as NHTSA was unable to include the results from the day 
care study at that time, we have included those results in our 
analysis for today's final rule. We have included these results in 
our analysis. For further information, please reference Docket No. 
NHTSA-2010-0162-0001 and the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis 
prepared in support of this rule (available in the docket number 
referenced at the beginning of this document).
    \71\ See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0001, Drivers' Use of 
Rearview Video and Sensor-Based Backing Aid Systems in a Non-
Laboratory Setting.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given this additional research and the comments on the ANPRM, the 
agency stated in the NPRM that rearview video systems are the most 
effective, currently available technology in aiding drivers to avoid 
the backover crashes contemplated by Congress in the K.T. Safety Act. 
Thus, the NPRM tentatively concluded that drivers need to have access 
to a visual image of an area measuring 5 feet to either side of the 
vehicle centerline and extending 20 feet behind the vehicle's rear 
bumper in order to successfully avoid a backover crash. However, 
conscious of the potential for new technologies and differing 
approaches to providing the driver with the required field of view, the 
proposed rule did not preclude the additional use of mirrors and/or 
sensors to complement a system producing the required field of view.
Comments
    Several equipment manufacturer comments disputed the agency's 
conclusion in the NPRM that a rearview image is necessary in order to 
enable a driver to effectively avoid a backover crash. Such commenters 
contended, for various reasons, that the rear visibility requirements 
should not preclude systems that do not provide a rearview image. For 
example, Sense Technologies noted that the research completed by NHTSA 
did not accurately evaluate the effectiveness of sensor and mirror 
systems. In terms of sensors, Sense Technologies noted that NHTSA's 
studies utilized ultrasonic sensors instead of Doppler sensors (which 
it asserted are more reliable). Sense Technologies asserted that 
Doppler radar-based systems should have been considered and that visual 
warnings should supplement--and not replace--auditory warnings. In 
regard to mirrors, Sense Technologies noted that cross-view mirrors are 
intended to be utilized in conjunction with a sensor or a rearview 
video system and their effectiveness should not have been evaluated 
based on testing as a stand-alone product. It further advocated that 
cross-view mirrors are more effective at detecting pedestrians that 
move laterally into the vehicle's blind zone.
    Other equipment manufacturers expressed similar concerns by stating 
that the final rule should not preclude systems that do not provide a 
rearview image. Valeo supported this sentiment by arguing that 
manufacturers should be able to choose which system or combination of 
systems is best suited to achieve the goal of preventing backovers. 
Similarly, Rearscope commented that the requirements should permit the 
consumer to choose the technology or combinations of technologies that 
would be suitable. Rearscope also contended that these technologies 
must be further researched and that rulemaking should be delayed until 
this research can be completed. Finally, IFM Electronic also stated 
that the final rule should not preclude a system that does not provide 
a rearview image such as its 3D Photonic Mixer Device, which it claimed 
will be more effective than the ``2D'' rearview image required under 
the proposed rule.
    On the other hand, some equipment manufacturers expressed support 
for the NPRM's conclusion that a rearview image is necessary to enable 
drivers to effectively avoid backover crashes.

[[Page 19200]]

Brigade agreed that sensors do not provide adequate protection because 
the commercially available systems do not detect small children 
reliably and that if a single system must be chosen, it should be a 
video system. Magna also agreed that sensors alone are ineffective by 
stating that ultrasonic waves do not travel through dry air with 
sufficient speed so as to react quickly enough to a moving object 
behind the vehicle. However, both of these commenters expressed support 
for combination sensor and video systems as a possibility for providing 
increased protection to pedestrians.
    Other commenters on the NPRM also expressed support for combination 
sensor and video systems. For example, the Consumers Union commented 
that audible cues would be useful to prompt the driver to look at the 
rearview image when an obstacle is detected. Similarly, the Automotive 
Occupant Restraints Council asserted that a combination system can 
compensate for the fact that the driver cannot be looking at a rearview 
image and looking backwards at the same time. While noting support for 
combination systems, Rosco agreed with the proposed rule that the final 
rule should not require specific additional equipment beyond the 
rearview image. Rosco contended that this will afford manufacturers the 
flexibility to utilize additional driver aids as required by different 
market segments. In its comments, Gentex cautioned against concluding 
that combination systems would be inferior to video-only systems as 
studies have not been conducted on combination systems involving a 
rearview mirror-mounted display.
    Separately, several commenters stated that the final rule should 
not preclude future technologies that may develop and instead should 
encourage the development of advanced rear visibility systems. Delphi 
and MEMA suggested that an NCAP-type system be established to encourage 
the development of new rear visibility technologies. In addition, 
Continental and BMW expressed concern that the proposal would inhibit 
technologies such as thermal imaging and automatic pedestrian detection 
with automatic braking.
    Separately, some commenters expressed support for a system which 
would activate the vehicle brakes automatically upon detecting a 
pedestrian. The Automotive Occupant Restraints Council suggested in its 
comments that a rear visibility system would be more effective if the 
electronic stability control system would intervene to prevent the 
driver from a backover crash if the system detects that such a crash is 
imminent. IFM also suggested that a vehicle should automatically 
intervene to stop the vehicle when a backover crash is imminent 
regardless of whether the vehicle utilizes a sensor or a visual system.
    Finally, Ford continued to express the opinion that NHTSA should 
consider alternatives for passenger cars such as adopting the ECE R.46 
requirements for side view mirrors. Further, Brigade generally 
suggested in its comments that there would be a great advantage in 
harmonizing the requirements of this rulemaking with those of ECE R.46.
Agency Response
    We acknowledge that some commenters disagreed with our tentative 
conclusion in the NPRM regarding the current need for providing a 
visual image of the area immediately behind the vehicle. However, we 
continue to believe, based on the types of currently available 
technology, the weight of the research, our consideration of the public 
comments, and other available information, that systems affording 
drivers the ability to see the area behind their vehicles are the most 
effective way of achieving Congress' goal of reducing backover crashes. 
The technology used to achieve that goal must not only detect the 
pedestrian behind the vehicle, but also effectively influence the 
driver to stop his or her backing maneuver. The agency continues to 
believe that in order to identify an effective technology for reducing 
backover crashes one must evaluate not only system performance, but 
also driver performance when assessing the overall effectiveness of a 
backover crash countermeasure. When taking these considerations into 
account, the data show that systems (such as sensor-only systems) that 
do not afford drivers a view of the area behind the vehicle do not 
effectively assist drivers in avoiding the backover crashes 
contemplated by Congress in the K.T. Safety Act.
Ultrasonic Sensor Systems Do Not Effectively Assist Drivers in Avoiding 
Backover Crashes
    To be effective, a sensor-only system that does not afford the 
driver a view of the area behind the vehicle must reliably detect the 
presence of a person, detect a person at a sufficient distance, and 
drivers must react appropriately to avoid the crash.\72\ A sufficient 
distance means a distance greater than the distance that a vehicle 
travels between the time when the person first enters within the 
detection zone of the sensors and the time when the driver brings the 
vehicle to a halt. Reliable detection means that the system must issue 
a warning to the driver when a person, regardless of size or 
orientation, is located within the detection zone of the sensor system. 
Appropriate driver response means that the driver heeds the warning of 
the system and reacts so as to avoid the crash.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ These three requirements closely follow the three factors 
considered in the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis: Crash 
avoidability (FA), system detection reliability 
(FS), and driver use of the system (FDR)--
discussed further in Section IV. Estimated Costs and Benefits, 
infra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ultrasonic sensor systems are the most common type of sensor system 
found in automotive applications. However, through its research, the 
agency has found various significant limitations on the ability of 
these systems to perform sufficiently in the three aforementioned 
areas. First, the available data indicate that the ability of sensor-
only systems to detect reliably an object that is within its design 
range varies significantly depending on the material and the surface 
area of the object. In the static tests run in NHTSA's 2006 sensor 
study,\73\ the agency conducted tests of sensor-only systems using test 
objects that were easily detected by those systems (e.g., a 36-inch 
traffic cone and a 40-inch PVC pole) to determine the extent of the 
ultrasonic sensor detection range. The sensors generally detected the 
objects at a range between 5 and 8 feet.\74\ However, the performance 
of the ultrasonic sensor systems deteriorated significantly when the 
agency tested objects that were smaller (i.e., had less surface area) 
and/or did not reflect sensor signals as well. In the agency's 
research, 1 and 3-year-old children (and Anthropomorphic Dummies) were 
detected poorly by the sensors.\75\ A

[[Page 19201]]

shorter traffic cone, with better reflectivity than the children and 
child-like objects, was detected significantly better by all tested 
systems.\76\ On the other hand, although the adult test objects have 
similar material qualities to the children, despite also having poor 
reflectivity, detection was better because they have greater surface 
area when compared to children.\77\ Thus, the data indicate the 
ultrasonic sensors are less able to detect children within their design 
detection zone as children generally do not reflect sensor signals as 
well as the test objects in the 2006 study and children generally do 
not have a large surface area to compensate for poor sensor signal 
reflectivity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ Mazzae, E.N., Garrott, W.R., (2006) Experimental Evaluation 
of the Performance of Available Backover Prevention Technologies. 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT HS 810 634.
    \74\ We believe that these objects illustrate the design 
detection range of the sensor systems as they are objects that can 
be easily detected by these systems and were the objects that were 
most consistently detected at the greatest range in our testing. The 
only system that could detect beyond 5-8 feet was the Lincoln 
Navigator system which utilized two ultrasonic sensors and a radar 
sensor. Our general observations of this setup indicate that, while 
the radar sensor on the Navigator had a significantly greater range 
that the ultrasonic sensors, it also was significantly less 
consistent in detecting across its detection area than the 
ultrasonic sensors.
    \75\ NHTSA's 2006 sensor study tested 1 and 3 year old 
Anthropomorphic Dummies (ATDs) (29.4 inches and 37.2 inches in 
height, respectively) dressed in clothing. The study found that 
these ATDs were inconsistently detected by some systems when placed 
in locations close to the vehicle bumper and that all the tested 
systems could only detect the ATDs reliably up to a range between 2 
and 6 feet. See Mazzae E.N., (2006) Experimental Evaluation of the 
Performance of Available Backover Prevention Technologies, supra. 
This study also found similar (but slightly worse in certain 
locations) results with real children aged 1 and 3 (30 inches and 40 
inches tall, See id. respectively).
    \76\ NHTSA's 2006 sensor study found that a 28 inch traffic 
cone--slightly shorter than both the ATDs and the real children--
could be detected up to a range of 5 to 8 feet. See id.
    \77\ The 2006 sensor study also found that an adult male was 
detected about as well as the idealized test objects (i.e., the 
system could detect the adult male up to a distance of between 5 and 
8 feet rearward of the rear bumper). See id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Second, the ability of ultrasonic sensor systems to reliably detect 
an object that is within its design range also varies significantly 
depending on the height/orientation of the object. Regardless of the 
surface area or reflectivity of an object, an object may be 
imperceptible to the ultrasonic sensor system if it is too close to the 
ground. For example, even though an adult that is lying on the floor 
has a large surface area to compensate for poor reflectivity, the data 
show that he/she will not be detected in this situation because the 
ultrasonic sensor systems have not been mounted/programmed so as to 
detect objects close to the ground. While the aforementioned 36-inch 
traffic cone was reliably detected up to a distance of between 5 and 8 
feet in the 2006 sensor study, the same systems in that study were 
virtually unable to detect the 12-inch traffic cone (which had the same 
general material and composition as the 36-inch traffic cone).\78\ One 
of the systems improved with detecting the 18-inch traffic cone.\79\ 
However, systems were generally not able to match the detection zone of 
the 36-inch traffic cone until the traffic cone height was increased to 
at least 28 inches.\80\ Thus, even though sensor systems tested by 
NHTSA had a design detect range extended up to between 5 and 8 feet, 
the above data demonstrate that there can be considerable areas where 
objects are not detectable within this design detection range when 
considering shorter test objects or certain object orientations.\81\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \78\ Of the systems that detected the 12 inch cone, they were 
only able to do so at distances greater than 4 feet but no greater 
than 8 feet from the bumper. In other words, for short objects, even 
the best sensors systems had a significant zone between the 
vehicle's bumper and 4 feet from the bumper where the 12 inch 
traffic cone was undetectable. See id.
    \79\ See id.
    \80\ See id.
    \81\ The NHTSA 2006 sensor study also tested an adult male lying 
down parallel to the vehicle bumper at different locations. 
Detection by all systems was inconsistent and only one system could 
detect the adult close to the bumper. See id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Third, even if the object is easily detected by the sensors, the 
design detection range of the ultrasonic sensor systems is generally 
not sufficient to enable a driver to avoid a backing crash. Although 
the data show that ultrasonic sensors detect adults up to between 5-8 
feet from the vehicle bumper, drivers backing at a speed greater than 
approximately 2.0 mph will be unlikely to avoid the crash.\82\ The data 
show that, it would take between 4.7 to 6.4 feet to stop the vehicle 
from 2.0 mph and 13.4 to 17.5 feet to stop the same vehicle from 5.0 
mph.\83\ Further, the available data suggest that most drivers conduct 
backing maneuvers at speeds greater than 2.0 mph.\84\ Thus, in 
situations where the pedestrian enters the sensor design detection zone 
after the vehicle has started backing, it is unlikely that the driver 
will avoid the crash (even assuming perfect sensor detection and quick 
driver response).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \82\ For reference, the NHTSA 2006 sensor study measured the 
idling speed of the vehicles (i.e., speed when vehicle is in reverse 
and no brake or throttle is being applied) in the study. Of the 
vehicles utilized by NHTSA in that study, the idling speed ranged 
from 4.0 mph to 7.0 mph. This data suggest that vehicles traveling 
backward at an idle engine speed travel at speeds that can be double 
the 2.0 mph speed where drivers can be reasonably expected to bring 
a vehicle to stop within 5-6 feet. See Mazzae E.N., (2006) 
Experimental Evaluation of the Performance of Available Backover 
Prevention Technologies, supra.
    \83\ See id. The agency calculated these distances based on a 
start time that assumed the vehicle is already traveling at the 
given speed (2.0 mph or 5.0 mph). Then the calculation took into 
account driver reaction time (i.e., time it takes for driver to 
apply brakes after receiving a warning), sensor system detection 
response time (i.e., time between the presentation of the test 
object and the system warning signal), and brake application time 
(i.e., time between initiation of braking and maximum deceleration 
rate is reached). The agency further assumed that vehicles decreased 
speed at a constant rate (the maximum deceleration rate) once the 
initial brake application time had elapsed. Driver reaction time was 
1.17 seconds. See Mazzae, E.N., Baldwin, G.H.S., Barickman, F.S., 
Forkenbrock, G.J. (2003) Examination of driver crash avoidance 
behavior using conventional and antilock brake systems, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT HS 809 561. Brake 
application time was assumed to be 0.25 seconds and system response 
time ranged from 0.18 to 0.74 seconds. See Mazzae E.N., (2006) 
Experimental Evaluation of the Performance of Available Backover 
Prevention Technologies, supra.
    \84\ In NHTSA's 2008 driver use study, drivers conducted backing 
maneuvers and at average speed of 2.26 mph and drivers' average 
maximum backing speed was 3.64 mph. See Mazzae, E.N., et al. (2008) 
On-Road Study of Drivers' Use of Rearview Video Systems (ORSDURVS), 
supra. A separate NHTSA study from 1995 also found similar results 
by observing that the average maximum backing speeds were generally 
3.0 mph (when excluding the extended backing maneuvers that can be 
as fast as 11 mph). See Huey, R. Harpster, H., Lerner, N., (1995) 
Field Measurement of Naturalistic Backing Behavior. National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration. DOT HS 808 532.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, our research continues to indicate that drivers tend not 
to react in a timely and sufficient manner in response to sensor 
warnings to avoid a backover crash with an unexpected pedestrian. In 
NHTSA's 2008, 2009, and 2010 studies on driver use of these systems, 
drivers only avoided collisions with the unseen test object using 
sensor systems in 18% of the cases despite the fact that the sensor 
system detected the object and warned the driver in all cases.\85\ In 
both the NHTSA studies mentioned above and in a GM study referenced in 
the ANPRM,\86\ many drivers responded to a sensor warning by exhibiting 
precautionary behavior (e.g., braking slightly or stopping the vehicle 
to check surroundings again). However, very few stopped fully to avoid 
the crash. In GM's study, 87% collided with the test object, but 68% of 
drivers exhibited precautionary behavior.\87\ Thus, even when assuming 
that the driver is backing at a sufficiently low speed and that the 
sensor system detects the rear obstacle perfectly, drivers often do not 
react appropriately so as to avoid the crash when the obstacle is 
unexpected or unseen.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ See Mazzae, E.N., et al. (2008) On-Road Study of Drivers' 
Use of Rearview Video Systems (ORSDURVS), supra, see also Docket No. 
NHTSA-2010-0162-0001, Drivers' Use of Rearview Video and Sensor-
Based Backing Aid Systems in a Non-Laboratory Setting. Drivers 
utilizing rearview video systems avoided the collision in 48% of the 
tests and drivers utilizing no countermeasure avoided the collision 
in 0% of the tests.
    \86\ See ANPRM, 74 FR 9495, see also Green, C. and Deering, R. 
(2006) Driver Performance Research Regarding Systems for Use While 
Backing, SAE Paper No. 2003-01-1982.
    \87\ See id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thus, after considering the above data, the agency does not believe 
that ultrasonic sensor-based systems meet the need for safety (i.e., 
able to detect pedestrians and lead to a sufficient percentage of 
drivers avoiding the backover crash). These systems leave little room 
for driver error/indecision and poor system reliability with regard

[[Page 19202]]

to object detection. As shown above, these systems generally do not 
detect persons reliably in their detection zones. Their ability to 
detect humans can degrade significantly due to material composition 
(e.g., clothing), surface area, and height/orientation. Even assuming 
perfect detection, ultrasonic sensor systems do not have adequate range 
to assist drivers in avoiding crashes with pedestrians that appear in 
the sensor detection zone after the backing maneuver has begun. In 
addition, typical driver reactions to the sensor system warnings do not 
result in crashes being averted. These limitations lead the agency to 
conclude in today's final rule that sensor-only systems would not 
adequately address the backover crash problem that Congress directed 
NHTSA to address in the K.T. Safety Act.
Redesigning Ultrasonic Systems Is Unlikely To Improve Driver 
Performance
    The agency is aware that many ultrasonic systems have been designed 
as parking aids (i.e., mounted at certain angles and programmed so that 
they pick up large objects as opposed to small children) and that 
certain adjustments to these systems may increase the likelihood that 
these systems will detect people and children. However, the potential 
solutions that the agency is aware of do not seem to adequately address 
the safety need in question in this rulemaking. Should the agency 
design a test procedure that addresses the concerns regarding poor 
detection of children, manufacturers may adjust the pitch of their 
sensors and sensitivity of their sensors to detect the agency's test 
objects designed to mimic children. However, in this scenario, the 
sensors would also detect curbs and other objects resulting in a 
greater number of false positives (i.e., issue alerts when no obstacle 
exists behind the vehicle) than they currently do when mounted so as to 
only detect large objects (such as a parked car). As mentioned above, 
the available research indicates that drivers generally do not react 
sufficiently to warnings regarding objects behind the vehicle when they 
cannot visually confirm the presence of an obstacle or when drivers do 
not expect the presence of an obstacle. The agency's concern that 
drivers do not trust the sensor warnings would be aggravated by the 
potential solutions to improve ultrasonic sensor performance (that 
would also increase false positives). Therefore, the agency does not 
believe that redesigning ultrasonic sensor systems is practicable at 
this time and would not help drivers avoid the types of backover 
crashes contemplated by Congress in the K.T. Safety Act.
Other Sensor-Only Systems Also Do Not Effectively Assist Drivers in 
Avoiding a Backover Crash
    While the agency is aware of other sensor technologies and that 
there are potential future technologies that may perform better than 
ultrasonic sensors, the agency is not aware of any currently available 
sensor-only system that has demonstrated safety benefits that equal or 
exceed rearview video systems. For example, although radar systems have 
a longer detection range when compared to ultrasonic sensor systems, 
radar-based sensor systems exhibit similar tendencies to produce false 
positives as ultrasonic sensors (their ability to detect objects varies 
significantly based on the size, orientation, and composition of the 
object). Another example of an alternative sensor-only system is the 
Doppler radar systems suggested by Sense Technologies. While Doppler 
radar based systems can also detect at a greater range than ultrasonic 
sensors, the agency is not aware of any source of Doppler radar systems 
for automotive applications that presents a safety advantage over 
rearview video systems. To date, the agency is not aware of any OEM 
vehicle manufacturer that has elected to utilize Doppler radar systems 
on their vehicles. Further, the agency is aware of only one supplier 
that provides Doppler systems for automotive applications and it 
currently sells these systems for around $300 (an amount that exceeds 
the estimated costs of both rearview video and ultrasonic sensor-based 
systems).\88\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \88\ See Sense Technologies, http://www.sensetech.com.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Further, the Doppler radar system presents various technical 
challenges that could also create safety concerns. First, the increased 
range of radar systems, including Doppler radar systems, can lead to an 
increase in false positives. Second, Doppler radar sensors rely on a 
change in relative speed in order for the object to be detected. This 
is a safety concern for the agency because this type of system would 
not warn the driver in a situation where a stationary pedestrian is 
located close to the bumper prior to the beginning of the backing 
maneuver. It will only warn the driver after the driver has begun 
accelerating into the pedestrian behind the vehicle. Given the short 
distance that can exist between the vehicle and the pedestrian, it is 
unlikely that the driver would be able to avoid a crash in these types 
of situations. Third, moving pedestrians can change direction and 
velocity. These changes in direction and velocity could affect the 
propensity of the Doppler radar to warn the driver as they can 
contribute to significant changes in relative speed (i.e., if the 
pedestrian is traveling at the same speed as the vehicle at one moment, 
but no longer doing so in the next moment, the warning may be 
inconsistent). These inconsistent warnings can also degrade the 
driver's ability to heed the warning and bring the vehicle to a stop 
before the crash. Finally, any potential sensor system must still 
address the fact that drivers tend not to react sufficiently to sensor 
warnings so as to avoid a crash--regardless of its ability to reliably 
detect pedestrians.
    As in the case of the Doppler radars, the agency is not aware of 
any other types of currently available sensor-only systems that can 
address the backover safety concern better than rearview video systems. 
Sensor systems do not meet the need for motor vehicle safety in the 
types of backover crashes contemplated by Congress in the K.T. Safety 
Act not only because of the aforementioned technical limitations in the 
systems, but also because of the significant evidence that drivers do 
not react sufficiently to sensor warnings in order to avoid these 
crashes. While the agency's research focused mostly on ultrasonic 
sensor systems, the agency does not believe that any other type of 
sensor-based system would provide more benefits than rearview video 
systems.
Possible Future Developments Regarding the Rearview Image
    The agency is aware of the development of potential technologies 
(such as automatic braking) which may address both the agency's 
concerns of accurate pedestrian detection and ensuring an appropriate 
and sufficient response to such detection without the necessity of 
providing an image of the area behind the vehicle. However, the 
available research at this time does not afford the agency sufficient 
information to develop performance requirements or assess the 
effectiveness of such systems to accurately detect pedestrians behind 
the vehicle and avoid a crash. During the course of this rulemaking, no 
commenter (on the ANPRM, on the NPRM, at the public hearing, or at the 
technical workshop) was able to provide information that would enable 
the agency to develop a minimum set of performance requirements capable 
of anticipating the design, benefits, and any associated safety risks 
of these new and future systems. Further, no commenter offered 
information regarding the ability of such systems to

[[Page 19203]]

more accurately detect pedestrians behind the vehicle when compared to 
the various sensor-based systems tested by the agency. While it may be 
possible that automatic braking or other future systems offer 
comparable or greater protection to the public without the use of a 
rearview image, the agency is not currently aware of any established, 
objective, and practicable way of testing such systems to ensure that 
they offer a minimum level of protection to the public.
    Thus, the agency continues to believe that drivers of vehicles 
using technologies that do not afford some type of automatic 
intervention (e.g., automatic braking) need visual confirmation of the 
presence and nature of an unexpected obstacle in order to be motivated 
to take the steps necessary to avoid a backover crash. Rear visibility 
systems and the agency's performance requirements will need to address 
not only sensor system accuracy but also the aforementioned human 
factors findings (the ability of drivers to heed the sensor warning and 
take the appropriate action to avoid a backover crash) if they are to 
be effective in reducing backover crashes. If systems that can 
effectively and reliably avoid backover crashes without presenting the 
driver with an image of the area behind the vehicle become available in 
the future, it will then be feasible for the agency to evaluate their 
potential and use that information to consider whether any regulatory 
changes are desirable. While the agency shares the desire of a number 
of commenters for requirements that are technologically as neutral as 
possible, the agency emphasizes the statutory requirement to ensure 
that its performance requirements ``meet the need for motor vehicle 
safety.'' NHTSA believes that, under the current circumstances, the 
requirements in today's final rule are as technologically neutral as 
the agency can make them and still ensure that they ``meet the need for 
motor vehicle safety.'' We continue to believe that providing a driver 
with a view of the area behind the vehicle is currently the most 
effective way available to reduce backover crashes, as demanded by the 
K.T. Safety Act.
The Agency Continues To Encourage Future Research and Will Consider 
Future Rulemaking
    NHTSA has made regulatory decisions within this rule based upon the 
best currently available scientific data and information. Consistent 
with its obligations under Executive Order (E.O.) 13563, Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review (Jan. 18, 2011), and E.O. 13610 on the 
retrospective review of regulations, NHTSA will review relevant new 
evidence and may propose revisions to the rule as necessary and 
appropriate to reflect the current state of the evidence and improve 
this regulatory program. NHTSA has already begun to obtain and review 
additional empirical evidence relevant to the real-world effectiveness 
of rearview video systems. NHTSA will gather and analyze additional 
data in this area--for example by monitoring trends in fatalities and 
injuries from backover crashes and additional information collections 
associated with other rulemakings or safety-related efforts. NHTSA also 
may consider additional collections of information that may trigger the 
Paperwork Reduction Act, and, would notify the public of these 
collections through the separate Federal Register Notices required 
under that Act. Further information collected by NHTSA could be used to 
inform future analyses. NHTSA may also identify and pursue additional 
issues for new research or conduct further research with regards to 
existing issues addressed in the rule.
    Further, we note that the public (including industry) is able to 
petition NHTSA to modify the requirements of FMVSS No. 111 pursuant to 
the procedures established in 49 C.F.R. Part 552. Such modifications 
may be necessary in the future to accommodate new rear visibility 
system designs and the agency would consider these modifications in 
consultation with the public through the notice and comment rulemaking 
process. As we noted above, we encourage petitioners to provide data to 
demonstrate that new rear visibility systems can effectively address 
the backover safety problem by showing that these systems are not only 
able to accurately detect pedestrians behind the vehicle, but also 
induce drivers to react to avoid the crash. The agency would encourage 
petitioners to provide any relevant information regarding new potential 
systems that could be similar (but not limited to) the types of 
laboratory tests examined by the agency during this rulemaking process. 
We acknowledge that the research relevant for evaluating a new 
technology would vary depending on the type of technology considered. 
For example, an evaluation of an automatic braking system would ideally 
consider any relevant data on the system's ability to reliably detect a 
pedestrian behind the vehicle and apply the brakes. We further 
encourage petitioners to provide any relevant data or suggestions on 
how the agency could objectively test potential new systems. In 
summary, the agency will consider petitions for rulemaking to 
accommodate new systems designed to prevent backover crashes and the 
agency encourages petitioners to provide as much information as 
possible to enable the agency to effectively consider the petition.
Combination Systems Utilizing More Than One Countermeasure
    Further, while we acknowledge the Consumers Union and the 
Automotive Occupant Restraints Council's comments encouraging the 
agency to examine combining sensors and rearview video systems, we 
decline to require any additional countermeasure technologies beyond a 
visual rear visibility system in today's final rule. As we noted in the 
ANPRM, our research seemed to indicate that drivers with multiple-
technology rear visibility systems avoided unexpected obstacles less 
successfully than drivers equipped with video-only systems. While we 
requested comment on this counter-intuitive finding, the agency is 
currently not aware of any additional research that could help quantify 
any potential increase in safety benefit through requiring multiple 
countermeasure technologies. Accordingly, we do not believe that it is 
appropriate to require any additional rearview countermeasures at this 
time.
    However, we note that today's final rule does not preclude 
manufacturers from utilizing sensors, mirrors, or other potential 
future technologies to augment the functionality of the rear visibility 
systems required by today's final rule. Technologies such as the cross-
view mirrors suggested by Sense Technologies, thermal imaging systems 
suggested by Continental and BMW, the 3D Photonic Mixer Device 
suggested by IFM, and automatic brake intervention as suggested by the 
Automotive Occupant Restraints Council may be used by manufacturers to 
supplement the rear visibility systems installed to meet the 
requirements of today's final rule. However, as mentioned above, the 
agency currently does not have data to adequately assess the potential 
safety benefits of these additional systems. Conversely, the agency 
also does not wish to preclude the development of new potential 
rearview safety features which may reduce crash risk more effectively 
than those supplemental systems we have investigated. A system that 
successfully sensed a human behind the vehicle and automatically 
applied the brakes could be more effective than a system that provides 
an image and relies upon the driver to see

[[Page 19204]]

the image and respond in a timely manner.\89\ However, the agency has 
not evaluated a production version of such a system to be able to 
accurately determine its possible benefits, disadvantages and costs. 
Thus, while today's final rule does not include any provisions that 
require the aforementioned technologies; it also does not preclude 
their application.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \89\ As described above, the agency continues to be interested 
in any relevant research that shows the effectiveness of such 
systems (e.g., in accurately detecting persons behind the vehicle) 
and an objective manner with which to test these potential new 
systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

NCAP-Type Evaluation of Rear Visibility Systems
    Additionally, MEMA and Delphi suggested that the agency encourage 
the development of new rearview technologies through an NCAP-type 
system. As we noted above, the agency has already updated NCAP to 
include rearview video systems. However, this recent update to NCAP did 
not change the program in the manner suggested by the commenters. The 
new update offers comparative information on vehicle models and their 
equipment levels (i.e., allows consumers to identify the models that 
have rearview video systems). However, it does not include comparative 
information assessing the different types of rear visibility systems 
relatively against each other.
    As in our earlier discussion of alternative countermeasure 
technologies, we believe that additional research would be needed in 
order to develop the appropriate test procedures that can objectively 
evaluate and offer useful comparative consumer information on 
additional countermeasure technologies in the manner suggested by the 
commenters. While the agency does not preclude the possibility of 
developing such test procedures in the future, it is unable to 
implement such a program as a part of today's final rule.
Convex Side View Mirrors
    Finally, we disagree with Ford and Brigade that today's rule should 
adopt the requirements in ECE R.46 for driver-side side view rearview 
mirrors. As we noted in the NPRM, the convex driver-side side view 
mirrors permitted by the ECE R.46 regulation do not enable the driver 
to detect pedestrians directly behind the vehicle, so they would not be 
able to cover the highest risk areas directly behind the vehicle. Thus, 
we did not propose a change to the driver-side side view mirror 
requirement in the NPRM nor do we adopt such a change today. We decline 
to amend FMVSS No. 111 to match the requirements of ECE R.46 in today's 
final rule.

d. Field of View

    The NPRM proposed a field of view minimum requirement that covers 5 
feet from either side of the vehicle center line to 20 feet 
longitudinally from the vehicle's rear bumper and a test procedure to 
ensure compliance as delineated by the seven test objects shown below 
in Figure 1. Commenters generally expressed concern in regards to three 
aspects of this proposal: (1) Whether the 20-foot by 10-foot field of 
view coverage area is appropriate, (2) whether the test procedure and 
test objects appropriately cover all the necessary areas behind the 
vehicle, and (3) whether or not visual overlays (such as guidance 
markers or controls) are considered when evaluating the field of view 
performance requirement. The following paragraphs will respond to these 
concerns in turn.
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

[[Page 19205]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR07AP14.000

BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
Coverage Area
    In the ANPRM, the agency solicited comment on what areas behind the 
vehicle should be visible to the driver in order to best improve 
safety. In doing so, the agency tentatively suggested a 50-foot by 50-
foot area coverage area as a possible option. In response to the 
lateral requirements, multiple organizations (such as Sony, the 
Advocates, and KidsAndCars.org) stressed the importance of covering the 
possibility that children may enter the area directly behind the 
vehicle from each side. In terms of longitudinal distance, advocacy 
groups such as the Advocates, KidsAndCars.org, and the Consumers Union 
recommended that any ``gaps'' between the rear coverage zone and the 
vehicle's rear bumper

[[Page 19206]]

should be eliminated. The Advocates further noted that there should be 
``no reason why a rearview video system could not provide an optimal 
coverage area that . . . extends at least 20-feet behind the vehicle.'' 
However, other organizations such as the Automotive Occupant Restraints 
Council, General Motors, and Honda stated that a small gap (of 
approximately a foot or less) would be advantageous in lowering the 
costs of the system while still providing an adequate amount of 
protection.
    After considering the comments on the ANPRM and the data from the 
SCI and Monte Carlo simulation research, the agency proposed in the 
NPRM a minimum field of view that covers 5 feet from either side of the 
vehicle centerline over an area extending 20 feet behind the vehicle's 
rear bumper. In regard to the lateral coverage area, we noted in the 
NPRM that while the Monte Carlo simulation data shows that there is at 
least a small level of crash risk as far as 9 feet laterally to each 
side from the vehicle centerline, the vast majority of the crash risk 
is encompassed within an area extending 5 feet laterally from the 
vehicle centerline. We further noted that while the Monte Carlo 
simulation data shows that some level of crash risk extends as far as 
33 feet longitudinally from the rear vehicle bumper, the actual SCI 
case data show that 77 percent of the backover crashes would have been 
covered by a 20-foot longitudinal field of view.\90\ Thus, in 
considering the available data, the agency proposed a 20-foot by 10-
foot minimum field of view coverage area in the NPRM and proposed to 
test this coverage area using seven test objects placed along the 
perimeter of the 20-foot by 10-foot zone.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \90\ 75 FR 76228.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments
    In response to the NPRM's proposed minimum field of view, the 
commenters raised various concerns. First, the Advocates expressed 
concern that manufacturers are not required to cover the area between 
the test objects. They stated that it could be possible for two cameras 
to be used to display all the required test objects but create a large 
blind zone in the areas between the test objects. Second, 
KidsAndCars.org stated in its comments that a 180-degree (horizontal 
angle) camera would offer the most protection as it would help the 
driver detect children that enter the path of the moving vehicle from 
the side. Sony similarly advocated for a more stringent field of view 
requirement that induces manufacturers to use 180-degree cameras. Sony 
stated that this would help cover lateral intrusions and that using 
180-degree cameras would not create a significant increase in cost.
    Third, General Motors, Volkswagen, and the Alliance suggested in 
their comments that the required field of view should not be wider than 
the width of the vehicle because the outboard targets will be visible 
in the rear view mirrors and because this penalizes smaller vehicles. 
Fourth, Sense Technologies questioned whether using a minimum field of 
view requirement is appropriate as it is prejudicial towards 
technologies that do not present the rearview in the form of an image 
and does not offer the same coverage as its product of persons/objects 
entering into the path of the backing vehicle from the side. Finally, 
the IIHS commented that the 20-foot longitudinal field of view coverage 
is inconsistent with the Monte Carlo research data because the data in 
the ANPRM does not show a clear inflection point at 20 feet and that 
there is a 0.3 probability of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle at 
up to 27 feet.
Agency Response
    Today's final rule adopts the minimum field of view requirement 
proposed in the NPRM, which extends 20 feet longitudinally from the 
vehicle's rear bumper and 5 feet to either side of the vehicle 
centerline as delineated by the seven test objects. After considering 
all the comments received on the NPRM, we believe that the proposed 
field of view continues to be the most appropriate.
    However, as the Advocates points out in its comments, it is 
conceivable that a manufacturer could comply with the proposed field of 
view requirement while still leaving a significant blind zone by using 
two cameras to cover only the test objects along the perimeter of 
required field of view. While it is unlikely that a manufacturer may 
utilize this configuration, we agree with the Advocates that this is a 
safety risk as such a configuration would likely create a blind zone 
where there is the highest risk for a backover crash. In order to 
address this concern, we have amended the definition of ``rearview 
image'' to require that the image be ``detected by means of a single 
source.'' We believe that this definition more accurately reflects the 
research and the discussion in this rulemaking which has continuously 
utilized only one camera when considering the rearview video system 
countermeasure option. We agree with the Advocates that this point was 
not made explicit in the proposed rule regulatory text and today's 
final rule adopts the aforementioned definition in order to avoid such 
confusion.
    On the other hand, we do not agree with KidsAndCars.org and Sony 
that the agency should specify a 180-degree camera requirement or 
increase the field of view so as to induce a 180-degree camera 
requirement. As noted previously, a goal of this rulemaking has been to 
increase the required field of view available to drivers while 
affording manufacturers flexibility in selecting methods to achieve 
that field of view. Thus, we decline to specify a camera angle 
requirement as suggested by KidsAndCars.org.
    We also decline to expand the required field of view in order to 
induce manufacturers to utilize 180-degree cameras as suggested by 
Sony. We believe that any modification to the required field of view 
should be based on the associated crash risks of the different areas 
behind the vehicle as opposed to the type of equipment we anticipate 
manufacturers will use to fulfill those requirements. While the agency 
acknowledges the concerns of Sony and KidsAndCars.org that pedestrians 
may enter the backing path of the vehicle from the left or right, the 
agency continues to believe that the 20-foot by 10-foot area covers the 
relevant areas behind the vehicle with the highest crash risk. In 
making this assessment, the agency examined both data from the SCI 
cases and from the Monte Carlo simulation.
    While as many as 41 of the SCI cases involved the crash victims 
entering the backing path of the vehicle from the left or right sides, 
the data do not identify accurately the location, direction, and speed 
of the crash victim at the beginning of the backing maneuver because 
SCI cases are post-crash analyses of real world crashes. In these 
analyses, the agency is only able to reconstruct the events of the 
accidents using its best estimates based on the available information. 
Therefore, a more refined assessment of the crash risks associated with 
the areas to the left or right of the vehicle from which pedestrians 
may enter the path of the backing vehicle is not possible through the 
SCI case data.
    However, through the Monte Carlo simulation, the agency has been 
able to assess the crash risks associated with the areas to the left 
and right of the backing vehicle. As mentioned previously, the Monte 
Carlo simulation assigns crash risks to 1-foot by 1-foot areas behind 
the backing vehicle based on the location of the pedestrian at the 
moment the vehicle begins its backing maneuver. In other words, the 
Monte Carlo simulation generates the

[[Page 19207]]

probability that a pedestrian, positioned at a given location behind 
the vehicle at the beginning of the backing maneuver, would be struck 
by the backing vehicle. The Monte Carlo data show that the vast 
majority of the crash risk is encompassed within an area extending 5 
feet laterally of the vehicle's longitudinal centerline. The agency 
believes that the data from the Monte Carlo simulation cover the 
lateral intrusion crash risk contemplated both by Sony and 
KidsAndCars.org because the Monte Carlo data show that pedestrians 
originating from locations beyond 5 feet laterally from the vehicle 
centerline at the beginning of the backing maneuver have a 
significantly reduced risk of being struck by the backing vehicle.
    Absent any additional information regarding the crash risks 
associated with the areas beyond 5 feet laterally from the vehicle's 
longitudinal centerline, we believe that the 10-foot wide lateral 
specification for the field of view requirement in the NPRM is 
appropriate for today's final rule. In addition, while we acknowledge 
Sony's comment that the costs of implementing requirements for 180-
degree cameras may be less than anticipated in the NPRM, we note that 
it did not provide any additional information that the agency could use 
to provide a more accurate estimate. Although the agency has attempted 
to better quantify the costs of the various technologies that can be 
used to fulfill the requirements of today's final rule, we are not 
aware of additional supportive information regarding the crash risks of 
the areas that would be encompassed by an expanded field of view. Thus, 
we decline to modify the field of view in today's final rule for the 
sole purpose of encouraging manufacturers to utilize a wider angle 
camera.
    In addition, we do not agree with the IIHS that the available data 
do not support the establishment of the 20-foot longitudinal field of 
view requirement. In setting the longitudinal requirement for the field 
of view, the agency also examined both the SCI and Monte Carlo 
simulation data and established the 20-foot requirement based on these 
data. While the agency does not believe that the SCI cases can help 
assess lateral crash risk, the agency believes that the SCI case data 
are more useful in assessing the longitudinal crash risks associated 
with backover crashes. Unlike assessing the crash risks resulting from 
side incursions where the position and trajectory of the pedestrian at 
the beginning of the backing maneuver is crucial, the assessment of the 
longitudinal crash risk can be derived from the distance traveled by 
the backing vehicle before striking the pedestrian. Unlike the position 
of the pedestrian, the position of the vehicle and the distance it 
traveled can be accurately determined through SCI cases. Thus, the 
agency believes that the SCI case data are useful in determining the 
longitudinal crash risks behind a backing vehicle.
    However, unlike in the evaluation of the lateral crash risks, the 
Monte Carlo simulation data do not afford the agency a clear inflection 
point where the agency could reasonably delineate a limit. In previous 
documents released by the agency, the data from the Monte Carlo 
simulation were truncated in order to simplify our presentation of the 
information. After the NPRM was published, we docketed \91\ the raw 
data results from the Monte Carlo simulation. These data show a gradual 
decrease in crash risk as the distance increases from the rear of the 
vehicle. Thus, while the agency relied on the Monte Carlo simulation 
data to determine the lateral boundaries of the field of view 
requirement, the agency believes it is more appropriate to consider the 
SCI case data in conjunction with the Monte Carlo simulation data to 
determine the longitudinal boundaries for the field of view because the 
SCI case data do contain a clear inflection point where the agency can 
reasonably establish a limit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \91\ Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0220
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We acknowledge the comment from IIHS that a crash risk probability 
of 0.3 exists beyond the 20-foot mark in the Monte Carlo simulation. 
However, we do not believe the agency can reasonably rely upon the data 
change from a probability of 0.3 to 0.2 to establish a standard because 
the raw data from the Monte Carlo simulation show a gradual decrease in 
crash risk as the distance from the rear of the vehicle increased. 
However, when the Monte Carlo simulation data is considered in 
conjunction with the SCI case data, we believe it is rational to 
conclude that the 20-foot longitudinal requirement will cover all the 
areas behind the vehicle that are associated with the highest crash 
risk.
    For the purposes of delineating the longitudinal extent of the 
required field of view, the SCI backover case data show a clear drop in 
number of crashes where the impact of the crash victim occurred after 
the vehicle had traveled 20 feet. When considering these data along 
with the data from the Monte Carlo simulation that show a probability 
crash risk of approximately 0.3 at 20 feet from the vehicle bumper, the 
agency believes that it is rational to conclude that a longitudinal 
requirement of 20 feet will cover the relevant areas behind the vehicle 
associated with the highest crash risk. For those reasons, today's 
final rule adopts the proposed requirements from the NPRM which require 
a 20-foot by 10-foot field of view as delineated by seven test objects 
located along its perimeter.
    We also do not agree with the Alliance's comment that the width of 
the test object placement should be proportional to the width of the 
vehicle, and we have maintained the test object locations at a width of 
5 feet to the left and right of the longitudinal centerline of the 
vehicle for the purposes of today's final rule. As in our response to 
Sony's comment on increasing the required field of view, we note here 
that the data from the Monte Carlo simulation indicate that the vast 
majority of the crash risk is encompassed within an area extending 5 
feet laterally from the vehicle centerline.\92\ Further, we believe 
that a consistent field of view requirement does not significantly 
penalize narrower vehicles because we anticipate that similar equipment 
will be used to comply with today's final rule irrespective of vehicle 
width and there are no data to indicate that narrower or small vehicles 
are responsible for fewer instances of backover crashes (resulting in 
either fatalities or injures). Finally, as we are unaware of any 
potential safety or other benefit in altering the required field of 
view according to vehicle width, and we are conscious of the increased 
complexity of compliance that can result from certifying vehicles to 
different fields of view, we believe that it is appropriate to 
establish a single field of view requirement for all vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \92\ The Monte Carlo simulation analysis we described in 
previous sections of this document shows that most of the crash risk 
in areas behind the vehicle are between 5 feet left and right of the 
vehicle centerline (assuming a vehicle width of six feet). See 
Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0220.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, we do not agree with Sense Technologies that a field of 
view requirement is not appropriate for this rulemaking. While we 
understand the concern that, by requiring a view, certain types of 
backover countermeasures are not sufficient by themselves, our research 
to date shows that systems that afford drivers the ability to see the 
pedestrian behind the vehicle are the most successful at helping 
drivers avoid striking the pedestrian. While products like cross view 
mirrors can help increase a driver's left and right field of view, the 
research has shown that they do not

[[Page 19208]]

allow a driver to detect objects within the backing path of the 
vehicle. The relative merits of sensor and mirror systems were further 
explored earlier in this document as well as in the NPRM and ANPRM.
Test Objects
    It has been the agency's position that test objects should be used 
to evaluate the field of view and that these test objects should be 
based on the height and width dimensions of a toddler. In the ANPRM, 
the agency suggested utilizing test object dimensions based on a 1-
year-old toddler since 26 percent of victims in backover crashes were 
1-year-old toddlers. Commenters on the ANPRM suggested that utilizing 
the average dimensions of an 18-month-old toddler may be a more 
appropriate representation of the data presented in the SCI cases. In 
the NPRM, the agency noted the small difference in average dimensions 
between the 1-year-old and 18-month-old toddlers \93\ and agreed with 
the principle of basing the test object on the dimensions of the 18-
month-old toddler. Thus, the NPRM proposed a cylindrical test object 
with a height of 32 inches and a diameter of 12 inches, consistent with 
an 18-month-old toddler.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \93\ 75 FR 76222; CDC, Clinical Growth Charts. Birth to 36 
months: Boys; Length-for-age and Weight-for-age percentiles. 
Published May 30, 2000 (modified 4/20/2001) CDC, Clinical Growth 
Charts. Birth to 36 months: Girls; Length-for-age and Weight-for-age 
percentiles. Published May 30, 2000 (modified 4/20/2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency further proposed in the NPRM to demonstrate vehicles' 
compliance with the minimum field of view requirement by placing seven 
test objects (with the aforementioned dimensions) along the perimeter 
of the 20-foot by 10-foot minimum coverage area behind the vehicle. As 
the agency was conscious that it may not be feasible for certain 
vehicles to mount a rearview camera above 32 inches, we proposed to 
require the entire height and width of each test object be visible only 
for those test objects located 10 feet or farther from the rear bumper 
of the vehicle. However, for the remaining test objects F and G 
(located only 1 foot behind the rear bumper of the vehicle), we 
proposed that a width of 5.9 inches must be visible along any point on 
the test object. The agency reasoned that this criterion would result 
in a 5.9 inch square or larger portion of a child be visible. Since 5.9 
inches corresponds to the average width of an 18-month-old toddler's 
head, the agency believed that this would give the driver sufficient 
information to result in visual recognition of a child.
    For testing purposes, two different design patterns were proposed 
for the test objects. To aid in the assessment of whether or not the 
required 150 mm (5.9 inch) width of test objects F and G are visible, 
the NPRM proposed to place a 150 mm wide stripe, of a contrasting 
color, over the entire height of these two test objects. As discussed 
later in this document, the NPRM proposed that test objects A through E 
be marked with a horizontal band covering the upper-most 150 mm of the 
height of each test object in order to aid in the assessment of the 
required image size.
Comments
    In response to the NPRM, the advocacy groups expressed a number of 
concerns with the proposed visibility requirements as they relate to 
the test objects. First, the Advocates were concerned that the 
requirement that only 5.9 inches of the width of the F and G test 
objects be visible could allow a blind zone to exist as high as 38 
inches vertical from the ground next to the bumper and extend at a 
descending angle rearward as far as 9 feet into the required field of 
view. Second, the Advocates, KidsAndCars.org, and the Consumers Union 
commented that the final rule should eliminate the 1-foot (0.3-meter) 
gap between the rear bumper and test objects F and G. These 
organizations claimed that this gap creates a blind zone directly 
behind the bumper which has a high probability of backover crashes 
(according to the Monte Carlo simulation). Conversely, Magna commented 
that many current rearview video systems do cover the rear bumper 
surface and do not have a 0.3-meter gap behind the bumper even though 
the test objects may be 0.3 meters away from the bumper.
    On the other hand, the manufacturers generally raised two issues in 
their comments regarding the proposed test procedure. First, the 
Alliance expressed concern that low-profile vehicles, such as an Audi 
R8, will not have a camera mounted high enough to capture all the test 
objects because the vehicle's height is below the height of the test 
objects. Volkswagen suggested NHTSA resolve this concern by 
establishing that the field of view be limited by the height of the 
mounting point of the camera. Second, by noting that the agency assumed 
in the NPRM that a 130-degree camera would be able to cover the 
required field of view, Porsche, the Alliance, Volkswagen, and BMW all 
expressed concern that the 130-degree camera will not be able to cover 
all of the required portions of each test object because test objects F 
and G are located beyond a 130-degree angle coverage from the vehicle 
centerline. These commenters expressed concern that the location of the 
F and G test objects will effectively require a wider angle camera. 
Conversely, Magna noted in its comments that a 130-degree camera can 
sufficiently cover the field of view when the mounting height and angle 
are taken into account. Thus, Magna asserted that there is no need to 
utilize a 180-degree camera as some commenters suggested.
    Various commenters also noted that the visibility requirement for 
test objects F and G do not include height requirements. Global 
Automakers sought clarification in its comments as to where the 150 mm 
(5.9 inch) width will be measured on test objects F and G. Similarly, 
Delphi and MEMA requested that NHTSA clarify the specific portions of 
the F and G test objects that must be viewable (without making a 
specific recommendation). On the other hand, Sony's comments suggested 
a 150-mm by 150-mm requirement for the area that must be visible on the 
F and G test objects in order to address concerns regarding the lack of 
a vertical specification.
    The agency also received comments on the visual composition of the 
test objects. The Alliance requested clarification on whether or not 
test objects F and G can be rotated in order to aim the 150-mm stripe 
towards the camera during the test. Honda further sought clarification 
as to whether the proposed rule required a 150-mm radius or 
circumference of the F and G test objects be visible. Delphi commented 
that the vertical stripe on test objects F and G does not clearly show 
the portions of the test object that must be viewable and instead 
suggested a pattern of 4-in. by 4-in. squares to be painted on the test 
objects. Additionally, MEMA sought clarification as to what a ``color 
that contrasts with both the rest of the test object and the test 
surface'' means in the test procedure under paragraph S14.1.3 
describing the test object. Finally, Volkswagen recommended that all 
test objects be marked with the same pattern in order to simplify the 
test procedure.
Agency Response
    After considering the aforementioned comments, we have concluded 
that the field of view test object requirements, as proposed in the 
NPRM, are most appropriate for today's final rule. We have considered 
the scenario described by the Advocates in which a camera is mounted so 
as to provide a view of only the top of test objects F and G, and then 
the full height of test objects D and E. We believe that such an 
arrangement is highly unlikely because the camera

[[Page 19209]]

angle would be aimed primarily toward the sky. Such a rear visibility 
system would have a camera mounted intentionally to meet the bare 
minimum of our requirements, while offering no apparent benefit to the 
consumer or to the manufacturer. It seems unlikely that such a 
configuration would meet the vehicle manufacturer's customer 
expectations and does not apparently allow the manufacturer to avoid 
incurring any costs--making this situation unlikely in the real world.
    In addition to this situation being highly unlikely, the agency 
believes that the proposed width-only requirements for test objects F 
and G are necessary because they enable the field of view requirements 
to apply to all different vehicle types and sizes. As we are conscious 
of the fact that vehicle size and rear configuration can vary widely 
between small low-speed vehicles, low riding sports cars, and buses up 
to a GVWR of 10,000 pounds, we have designed the field of view test 
object requirements to be applicable to all the aforementioned vehicle 
types. In order to preclude manufacturers from utilizing the unlikely 
camera arrangement described by the Advocates, this rule would need to 
require that manufacturers construct vehicles so as to enable the rear 
visibility system see a larger portion of the F and G test objects. As 
this would likely unnecessarily restrict vehicle design, we have 
concluded that the unlikelihood of a manufacturer electing to pursue 
the camera arrangement described by the Advocates does not warrant the 
additional costs associated with increasing the field of view 
requirements for the F and G test objects.
    The agency also does not agree with the Consumers Union, the 
Advocates, and KidsAndCars.org that the placement of the F and G test 
objects, 0.3 meters from the vehicle's rear bumper, creates a blind 
zone that may create a significant safety risk. We note that the center 
axis of each of the test objects designated F and G is located 1.52 
meters (5 feet) laterally from the vehicle longitudinal centerline and 
0.3 meters rearward of the vehicle's rear bumper. Because the location 
specifications the test objects are defined according to each test 
object's center axis, the requirement that the rear visibility system 
cover a 150-mm width of test objects F and G (each with a diameter of 
0.3 meters) will effectively require the field of view to cover a 
significant area inward of 0.3 meters behind the vehicle bumper (at a 
lateral distance of 1.52 meters from the vehicle's longitudinal 
centerline). The agency acknowledges that a rear visibility system 
meeting the above requirements many not cover the required 150-mm width 
of a test object with a center axis less than 0.3 meters rearward of 
the vehicle bumper at the lateral distance of 1.52 meters from the 
vehicle's longitudinal centerline. However, the agency is currently not 
aware of any vehicle, covered by today's final rule, which has a 
vehicle width which exceeds 1.52 meters on either side from the 
vehicle's longitudinal centerline. Accordingly, a child located in 
front of the F or G test objects, and outside of the required field of 
view, would not be struck by a reversing vehicle.
    In order to be struck by a reversing vehicle, the child must move 
towards the vehicle centerline. As the child moves towards the vehicle 
centerline, the possible blind zone that can exist behind the bumper 
will be significantly smaller than 0.3 meters. Because blind zones will 
be significantly decreased for areas behind vehicles that are within 
the width of the vehicle, the agency does not believe that rear 
visibility systems which meet the requirements of today's final rule 
will be unable to view a 150-mm width of any test object located 
directly along the bumper of any vehicle covered by today's final rule. 
While today's final rule does not include test objects at locations 
directly along the vehicle bumper in order to accommodate the wide 
variety of vehicle sizes and designs covered by today's final rule, we 
believe the requirements in today's rule are a reasonable proxy for 
ensuring that test objects in those locations would be sufficiently 
visible to the driver through the required rear visibility system. 
Further, because the test objects utilized in today's rule are designed 
to simulate the height and width of an 18-month-old toddler, we do not 
believe that the locations for the F and G test objects 0.3 meters 
behind the vehicle rear bumper will create a significant safety risk.
    Today's final rule also denies the Alliance's request that the 
agency afford additional accommodation for vehicles that have low-
mounted rear visibility systems. Specifically, we do not agree with 
Volkswagen that rear cameras mounted at a lower height than the height 
of the test objects will be unable to cover all the required vertical 
portions of the field of view. As mentioned earlier, we designed the 
field of view requirements conscious of the fact that vehicle height 
can vary greatly and we are unaware of any camera that has a vertical 
angle limitation which would prevent it from easily being mounted at a 
pitch which covers the full height of test objects A through E. 
Separately, we also disagree with Porsche, the Alliance, Volkswagen, 
and BMW that a 130-degree camera is unable to cover the required 
horizontal portions of the field of view. We believe that the diagrams 
presented by the commenters regarding the inability of the 130-degree 
camera to cover test objects F and G (located 5 feet laterally from the 
vehicle center line and 1 foot longitudinally from the rear bumper) 
failed to consider the three-dimensional properties of a camera's 
viewing angles. As Magna commented, a 130-degree camera can readily 
cover the 150-mm width requirements of test objects F and G when 
mounting height and camera pitch is considered. We further note, that 
in testing conducted by the agency, the vast majority of vehicles were 
capable of meeting the field of view requirements as proposed in the 
NPRM.\94\ Thus, today's final rule adopts those requirements from the 
NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \94\ See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0133, Vehicle Rearview Image 
Field of View and Image Quality Measurement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Today's final rule also responds to the commenters' concern 
regarding the portions of test objects F and G that must be visible. We 
confirm, in today's notice, that the visibility requirements for those 
test objects are width-only (and do not include a vertical 
specification). As stated above, the 150-mm width represents the width 
of the average 18-month-old toddler's head. We continue to believe that 
if a horizontal width of 150 mm of the F and G test objects is visible 
through the rearview image, that a sufficient area of the average 18-
month-old child will be visible to the driver such that a driver can 
visually recognize the child and avoid a crash. As noted above, we are 
cautious against increasing a vertical specification of the F and G 
test objects (as suggested by Sony) because we are conscious that the 
requirements of today's final rule must be flexible enough to 
accommodate a wide variety of vehicles and configurations. We also note 
that to require a vertical specification would increase the cost and 
complexity of the test procedure by requiring some level of vertical 
measurement of the F and G test objects. While horizontal measurement 
requirements are easily confirmed using the vertical stripe pattern 
adopted in today's final rule for test objects F and G, measuring the 
vertical distance along those test objects presents greater practical 
challenges. Thus, in the absence of a clear increase in potential 
safety benefit, we decline to include a vertical specification for the 
required view of the F and G test objects.

[[Page 19210]]

    In this document, we also seek to address and clarify the various 
commenters' concerns regarding the placement and orientation of the 
test objects. As Honda indicated in its comments, the proposed 
regulatory text in the NPRM did not clearly identify whether the 150-mm 
width requirement for test objects F and G would be measured along the 
circumference of the test object or would be measured in some other 
manner. We agree that this uncertainty should be clarified and have 
modified the regulatory text to indicate that the 150-mm width 
requirement will be measured along the circumference of test objects F 
and G. In a related matter, we acknowledge the Alliance's concern 
regarding whether or not test objects F and G can be rotated in order 
aim the 150-mm-vertical stripe towards the camera. We note that the 
requirements from the proposed rule (and adopted in today's final rule) 
merely requires that a 150-mm width of test objects F and G be visible 
and does not restrict the orientation of the vertical stripe on those 
test objects.
    However, we do not agree with Delphi and Volkswagen regarding their 
recommendations on the visual patterns that should be used for the test 
objects. It seems that, as the 4-inch by 4-inch squares proposed by 
Delphi would not correspond easily to any of the requirements of 
today's final rule, it would not aid in the assessment of whether or 
not a given rear visibility system can meet the requirements in today's 
final rule. Further, we decline to adopt the same visual pattern for 
all test objects as recommended by Volkswagen because the different 
patterns are intended to aid in the assessment of different 
requirements. The horizontal stripe on test objects A, B, and C assists 
in evaluating compliance with the image size requirement whereas the 
vertical stripes on the F and G test objects assist in evaluating 
compliance with the field of view requirement. Accordingly, we adopt 
the visual patterns for all the test objects as proposed in the 
regulatory text in the NPRM in today's final rule.
    Finally, we acknowledge MEMA's concern that the test procedure does 
not specify what constitutes a ``color that contrasts with both the 
rest of the cylinder and the test surface.'' However, similarly to the 
orientation of the F and G test objects, the requirements of today's 
final rule merely state that a 150-mm-wide portion of the test objects 
(along the circumference) must be visible and that test objects A, B, 
and C must be displayed at an average subtended angle of no less than 5 
minutes of arc. Using a contrasting color band primarily assists in the 
accurate measurement of the test object image width using the 
photographic data. Therefore, any color may be used in order to 
determine the compliance of a given rear visibility system.
Overlays
    In the ANPRM, NHTSA solicited comments regarding different methods 
of presenting information to drivers. Multiple commenters responded 
with information regarding the use of overlays as visual warnings or 
indicators to help assist drivers. In the NPRM, the agency chose not to 
propose any requirements regarding overlays, but acknowledged the 
potential benefit of using overlays in conjunction with sensor-based 
technologies to better assist the driver.
Comments
    In their comments on the NPRM, the manufacturers were concerned 
that overlays will obscure the required view of the test objects during 
the field of view test procedure and cause their systems to be 
considered non-compliant. Commenters such as the Alliance suggested 
that overlays (such as guidelines, arrows, icons, controls) are 
generally helpful to drivers and that, in practice, they will not 
operate to obscure an entire child. Specifically, Global Automakers 
suggested that the agency account for overlays by extending the width-
only, 150 mm requirements of test objects F and G to apply to test 
objects A through E as well. Additionally, Global Automakers was 
concerned that as certain overlays may react to driver input from the 
steering wheel, the overlays on the video screen may be in different 
positions depending on the position of the steering wheel. Thus, it 
suggested that the test condition should specify that the steering 
wheel should be in the straight ahead position during the test. Honda's 
comments also expressed support for specifying the position of the 
steering wheel in the test condition.
Agency Response
    The agency agrees with the commenters that video image overlays may 
have potential to add safety-related features to rear visibility 
systems.\95\ On the other hand, the agency is also conscious that such 
overlays have the potential to be applied to the rearview image in both 
safe and unsafe manners. Depending on their size, location, and 
orientation, overlays have the potential to create unsafe blind zones 
in the rearview image and to mask small obstacles, such as children. 
However, without further research, the agency is not currently aware of 
a practical method of regulating these aspects of the use of overlays. 
The agency currently is not aware of any data which would support 
threshold values for regulating the size, location, and orientation of 
overlays. Thus, today's final rule does not limit the use of overlays 
so long as the overlays do not violate any of the existing requirements 
established by today's final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \95\ Several commenters stated that future rear visibility 
systems may be able to perform advanced functions such as object 
detection which could utilize overlays to warn drivers of 
pedestrians located behind the vehicle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, we note that overlays can be designed to appear 
automatically in the rearview image in locations which cover the 
required portions of the test objects. In such a situation (e.g. 
guidelines showing the backing path of a vehicle which pass through any 
of test objects A through E), the overlays would violate the field of 
view requirements of today's final rule. However, as discussed in the 
sections below, today's final rule allows manufacturers to design 
systems which permit drivers to modify the field of view so long as a 
field of view compliant with today's final rule is displayed, by 
default, at the beginning of each backing event. Therefore, overlays 
would not violate the requirements of today's final rule if manually 
activated by the driver or if they do not cover any of the required 
portions of the test objects when displayed automatically.
    While today's final rule contains no specific provisions regulating 
overlays, we also decline to create special exclusions or 
accommodations for overlays as suggested by various commenters. 
Although we agree that overlays have the potential to add safety-
related features to the rear visibility system, we do not agree with 
the Alliance and other commenters that suggest that overlays cannot 
operate in practice to obscure a child. Thus, we decline to amend the 
field of view requirements so as to disregard overlays or to apply the 
same 150 mm width-only requirement to all the test objects as suggested 
by Global Automakers. We note that while the F and G test objects have 
width-only requirements in order to accommodate the large degree of 
size variation that can exist in vehicles covered by today's final 
rule, there is no similar concern for the remaining test objects.
    However, we acknowledge the Global Automakers' concern that on-
screen overlays may react to driver use of the steering wheel and that 
the steering wheel position can affect a vehicle's compliance with the 
requirements of

[[Page 19211]]

today's final rule. Like the non-interactive overlays above, the agency 
is currently unaware of a practicable method of separating safe 
applications of overlays from unsafe applications of overlays. Thus, 
today's final rule also does not establish any specific provisions 
regulating the use of overlays which react to steering wheel 
orientation.
    However, in order to ensure test repeatability, the agency 
clarifies the steering wheel test condition by stating in the test 
procedure that the steering wheel will be placed in a position where 
the longitudinal centerline of all vehicle tires are parallel to the 
vehicle longitudinal centerline. This steering wheel position is meant 
to simulate the straight ahead steering wheel position suggested by 
Global Automakers. Using this test condition, overlays in the form of 
guidelines which show the backing path of the vehicle would be 
prohibited from covering the required portions of the test objects when 
the steering wheel is placed in the straight ahead position. We believe 
that this steering wheel position is appropriate because it is likely 
the position which most closely reflects the real world driving 
conditions experienced by drivers conducting a backing maneuver along a 
driveway connecting a place of residence to a street. While we 
acknowledge that not all backing maneuvers will be conducted along a 
straight path, we believe that straight ahead steering wheel position 
most appropriately approximates the likely steering wheel positions 
during a backing maneuver when compared to the other available steering 
wheel positions.
    The agency agrees that overlays can be designed to enhance the 
safety features of the rear visibility system. While we have not made 
any special accommodations for overlays, we expect that most of the 
currently used overlays will comply (or can easily be adjusted to 
comply) with our current requirements. By establishing the steering 
wheel condition and clarifying how the requirements of today's rule 
apply to overlays, we do not expect that existing overlay designs will 
prevent rearview video systems from meeting the requirements of today's 
rule. However, the agency remains concerned that future overlay designs 
have potential to operate unsafely depending on their size, 
orientation, and placement in the rearview image. Although the agency 
is currently unaware of a practicable method of regulating these 
aspects of the overlays, we expect that manufacturers will design 
overlays conscious of the fact that the rear visibility system is 
required by the provisions of today's final rule for an important 
safety purpose. We note that our decision not to regulate overlays does 
not relieve manufacturers from designing their system overlays so as to 
afford their customers a reasonable ability to see the required field 
of view.

e. Image Size

    Beginning with the ANPRM, the agency has consistently expressed the 
position that the display of the required rear visibility system should 
produce images of a sufficient size so as to enable a driver to discern 
that objects are present behind the vehicle. Through the ANPRM, NHTSA 
requested comment on potential solutions to this problem such as 
including requirements restricting image size, overall display size, 
display resolution, image distortion, or image minification. In 
response to the ANPRM, multiple commenters advocated for various 
overall display size requirements based on different methods of 
calculating what a person can reasonably see. For example, Ford 
suggested that a 2.4-inch screen would be sufficient based on the 
measurement technique of New South Wales' Technical Specification No. 
149 and its experience regarding customer acceptance of screens of this 
size. Magna cited studies conducted by General Motors and the Virginia 
Tech Transportation Institute which indicated that screens of 3.5 
inches or larger led to the highest rates of crash avoidance.
    Rather than propose a minimum overall display size as commenters 
suggested, the NRPM proposed to regulate the image size as measured by 
the apparent size of test objects as displayed to the driver through 
the rear visibility system. In general, NHTSA is concerned with setting 
performance standards which directly address the safety concern while 
still affording manufacturers as much design flexibility as possible. 
Thus, the NPRM did not include a minimum overall display size as a 
driver's ability to perceive an object displayed is affected not only 
by the display size, but also by the display location within the 
vehicle. To avoid setting restrictions on both the size and the 
location of the display within vehicle, the NPRM proposed to adopt an 
image size requirement which regulates how large the displayed objects 
will appear to the driver.
    Thus, the NPRM proposed that test objects A, B, and C, (the three 
test objects located 20 feet behind the rear vehicle bumper in the 
field of view test procedure) be displayed with sufficient size 
resulting in an average subtended visual angle of no less than 5 
minutes of arc \96\ when tested in accordance with the proposed test 
procedures.\97\ Additionally, each of the individual test objects A, B, 
and C may not be displayed at a size resulting in a subtended visual 
angle of less than 3 minutes of arc. This proposed requirement was 
based on research originally published by Satoh, Yamanaka, Kondoh, 
Yamashita, Matsuzaki and Akisuzuki in 1983 which examined the 
relationship between an object's visual subtended angle, and the 
subject ability of a person to perceive that object. This study 
concluded that an object must subtend to at least 5 minutes of arc in 
order for a person to make judgments about the object.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \96\ A minute of arc is a unit of angular measurement that is 
equal to one-sixtieth of a degree. The angle which an object or 
detail subtends at the point of observation; usually measured in 
minutes of arc. If the point of observation is the pupil of a 
person's eye, the angle is formed by two rays, one passing through 
the center of the pupil and touching the left edge of the observed 
object and the other passing though the center of the pupil and 
touching the right edge of the object.
    \97\ As discussed later in this document, a test procedure which 
takes a still photograph of the rearview image from the simulated 
eye point of the 50th percentile male driver was proposed in order 
to evaluate compliance of a rear visibility system with both the 
image size requirements discussed in this section and the field of 
view requirements discussed previously. The image size is then 
measured using an in-photo ruler as reference as detailed in the 
proposed regulatory text in the NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NPRM also noted that NHTSA had previously based regulatory 
requirements, in part, on the Satoh research. For example, the school 
bus mirror requirements contained in paragraph S9.4 of FMVSS No. 111 
require that the worst-case test object (cylinder P) be displayed at a 
subtended angle of no less than 3 minutes of arc. The NPRM reasoned 
that a value less than 3 minutes of arc is appropriate for school bus 
mirrors because school bus drivers are specifically trained not only to 
operate commercial vehicles, but also to use the school bus-specific 
mirrors. Further, the cross-view mirrors required by paragraph S9.4 of 
FMVSS No. 111 are intended for use while the school bus is stationary--
thus affording the driver as much time as necessary to assess the 
objects in the mirror. As the images presented in passenger vehicles 
are intended for average drivers during moving situations, the NPRM 
tentatively concluded that an image size requirement based on the 5 
minutes of arc recommendation from the Satoh research would be the most 
appropriate to address the safety risk contemplated by Congress in the 
K.T. Safety Act.

[[Page 19212]]

Comments
    In response to the NPRM, the Advocates noted two concerns with the 
proposed requirements. First, the Advocates stated that the proposed 
requirements are not supported by the Satoh research as the proposed 
rule allows for an average of 5 minutes of arc over the three rearmost 
test objects instead of a minimum of 5 minutes arc for each test object 
that the Satoh research indicates would be the minimum necessary for a 
driver to perceive the displayed object. Second, the Advocates stated 
that the test procedure should take into account the different image 
sizes that may result from the different possible eye points of 
different drivers such as the 95th percentile male and the 5th 
percentile female.
    Separately, MEMA noted in its comments that the 5 minutes of arc 
standard is based on a study that assumes drivers possess 20/20 vision. 
Since most states allow persons to obtain driver's licenses with 20/40 
vision, MEMA suggested that the final rule should require greater image 
size. Supporting MEMA's concerns, Delphi added that the requirement 
should be amended to 10 minutes of arc.
    Finally, Ms. Kathleen Hartman commented that the display location 
should be near the back window so that a driver is able to both look 
backwards and look at the display simultaneously. However, both Gentex 
and Brigade expressed an opinion against regulating the location of the 
rearview display. Gentex reasoned that, since drivers are accustomed to 
viewing the rearview mirror during and before backing maneuvers, the 
rule should not preclude manufacturers the option to place the rear 
visibility system's display in the rearview mirror that may increase 
the likelihood that drivers would utilize such a system.
Agency Response
    The agency has considered all the comments presented and continues 
to believe that the requirements and test method proposed in the NPRM 
for image size are most appropriate for today's final rule. We do not 
agree with the Advocates that an image size requirement which requires 
an average of 5 minutes of arc is not supported by the Satoh research. 
The test method, proposed in the NPRM and adopted by today's final 
rule, utilizes a still image camera to take a photograph of the 
rearview display with an in-photo ruler as reference. The visual angle 
subtended by the test objects is then calculated using information 
derived from the in-photo ruler, the distance between the camera and 
the rearview image, and the formula provided in the regulatory text. As 
the Satoh research concluded that an object must subtend to at least 5 
minutes of arc in order for a person to make judgments about the 
object, today's final rule requires that test objects A, B, and C be 
displayed at an average subtended angle of no less than 5 minutes of 
arc. In response to the Advocates' comment on the averaging method, the 
agency does not anticipate large differences in the actual apparent 
size of the three furthest objects, nor do we anticipate any individual 
test object having an actual apparent size significantly less than 5 
minutes. Thus, we adopt in today's final rule the requirements and test 
method proposed in the NPRM as there is data to indicate that a minimum 
subtended angle of 5 minutes of arc would yield greater safety benefits 
than an average subtended angle of 5 minutes of arc.
    Considering the Advocates' request to establish apparent image size 
requirements for both a 95th percentile male as well as a 5th 
percentile female, we conclude in today's final rule that such a 
requirement would increase compliance costs without any significant 
benefit to safety. The agency previously explored this issue by 
calculating a simple mirror and seat configuration. We found that the 
subtended angle calculation does not vary greatly with the driver's 
seated height. In the configuration calculated by the agency, with a 
mirror height of 31.5 inches above the driver's seat and a 24 inch 
nominal distance to the driver's eye, the difference between a 5th 
percentile female and a 95th percentile male apparent image size was 
only 0.03 minutes of arc for a nominal apparent image size of 5 minutes 
arc. As requiring manufacturers to certify compliance to varying driver 
seating positions would increase costs without providing any 
significant safety benefit, this final rule continues to use the single 
measurement location close to the 50th percentile male which is 
intended to best approximate the eye points of most drivers.
    As the agency was conscious of the existence of both in-mirror and 
in-dash rearview displays, our intent in the NPRM was to afford 
manufacturers the flexibility to place the rearview display in a 
location that is most appropriate for use by their customers. This 
final rule continues to allow flexibility with regard to the location 
of the display. We note the comments from Gentex which reasoned that 
drivers are most accustomed to viewing the rearview mirror during and 
before backing maneuvers. We also note Ms. Hartman's request that the 
agency require a display located such that the driver must look 
rearward. While the agency is not currently aware of data that show 
that a rear-mounted display or in-mirror display is the most 
appropriate location for the rearview image, today's final rule does 
not restrict these configurations. Consistent with our current rearview 
mirror requirements, today's final rule will exclude head restraints as 
an obstruction to the rearview display in the test procedure. Through 
this limited exclusion, we acknowledge the possibility that 
manufacturers may wish to utilize rear-mounted displays. While we note 
the separate safety benefit that is afforded by the head restraints 
required in FMVSS No. 202 and 202a, we believe that a driver who is 
looking rearward will move in such a way as to avoid the head restraint 
as an obstacle in his or her view a rearview display.
    Finally, the agency declines to raise the minimum requirement that 
objects subtend to an angle of 5 minutes of arc as suggested by MEMA 
and Delphi. While the agency acknowledges that states allow drivers 
that do not have 20/20 vision to operate motor vehicles, we also 
recognize that these furthest locations and apparent image sizes will 
increase as the vehicle moves closer to them. Further, as mentioned 
above, the agency is interested in ensuring that certain display 
locations (such as the rearview mirror) are not precluded as an option 
for compliance. As an increased image size requirement (such as the 10 
minutes of arc suggested by Delphi) would require a significantly 
larger display (which can preclude a manufacturer from installing an 
in-mirror rear visibility system), we believe that such a requirement 
is unnecessarily design restrictive without yielding significant 
benefits to safety. Therefore, today's final rule adopts image size 
requirements which remain unchanged from those proposed in the NPRM.

f. Test Procedure

    In the ANPRM, NHTSA suggested that the test procedure currently 
utilized in FMVSS No. 111 for evaluating compliance of school bus 
mirrors could be modified for the purposes of this rule. Such a 
procedure would set up a still photography camera such that its imaging 
sensor is located at the eye point of a 50th percentile male. A 
photograph would be taken of the test objects as they are presented in 
the rearview image via the rear visibility system display. This 
photograph would then be used to assess the compliance of the rear 
visibility system.

[[Page 19213]]

    The NPRM tentatively concluded, as suggested in the ANPRM, that an 
adapted version of the school bus mirror test in FMVSS No. 111 would be 
appropriate for evaluating compliance with this rule. In order to 
develop an objective and repeatable test, the proposed test procedure 
established additional elements of the test such as an ambient light 
condition, vehicle load test conditions, a driver seating position, and 
a ``test reference point'' to determine the location of the still 
imaging sensor. This proposed test procedure was designed to evaluate 
compliance with not only the field of view requirements but also the 
image size requirements of the proposed rule. The proposed regulatory 
text in the NPRM specified the instructions on how to conduct the 
proposed test. However, the commenters on the NPRM had various concerns 
regarding the proposed test procedure.
Test Reference Point
    In the NPRM, we proposed to establish a ``test reference point'' 
which would simulate the eye point (eye location) of a 50th percentile 
male. In the ANPRM, NHTSA requested comment as to the appropriateness 
of utilizing the eye point of the 50th percentile male as not only the 
test reference point for evaluating compliance of a rear visibility 
system, but also as a reference point for measuring a vehicle's rear 
visibility without an additional rear visibility system.\98\ In 
response to the ANPRM, commenters offered a variety of suggestions. 
General Motors suggested this rule apply a requirement consistent with 
the rear visibility requirements already existing in FMVSS No. 111 and 
utilize the 95th percentile eye-ellipse during the test procedure. 
Similarly, Nissan recommended that the rule adopt the eye ellipse 
method from SAE Standard J941 (which was incorporated by FMVSS No. 104 
and also FMVSS No. 111). Further, the Alliance recommended that the eye 
reference points for this rule be harmonized with the equivalent 
standards from ECE R.46. Separately, Sony and the Consumers Union 
suggested the agency include tests for the other scenarios such as the 
5th percentile female or the 25th percentile female. However, Honda 
cautioned that including multiple eye reference points may unduly 
increase costs, especially for evaluating mirror-based countermeasures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \98\ In the ANPRM, the agency also considered whether or not 
this rulemaking should limit the application of the rearview 
countermeasure to vehicles with a blind zone larger than a certain 
threshold. In that situation, the measurement of the vehicle's rear 
blind zone size would have also required a ``test reference point'' 
to determine the applicability of the rule. Thus the ANPRM solicited 
comments on the test reference point for both contexts. While many 
of the comments to the ANPRM in regards to the test reference point 
were in the context of evaluating the rear blind zone threshold, 
these comments are relevant to the more narrow discussion regarding 
the appropriateness of the proposed test reference point for 
evaluating compliance of the rearview countermeasure itself.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NPRM tentatively concluded that a test reference point 
simulating the eye point of the 50th percentile male driver is the most 
appropriate for this rule. Using the anthropometric data from a NHTSA-
sponsored study of the dimensions of 50th percentile male drivers 
seated with a 25-degree seat-back angle (``Anthropometry of Motor 
Vehicle Occupants'' \99\), the NPRM proposed specifications for the 
left and right infraorbitale (a point just below each eye), the head/
neck joint center at which the head rotates about the spine, the 
location of the center of the eye in relation to the infraorbitale, and 
the point in the mid-sagittal plane (the vertical/longitudinal plane of 
symmetry of the human body) of the driver's body along which the 
forward-looking eye mid-point can be rotated. All of these 
specifications were given in relation to the hip location of a driver 
in the driver seating position (the H point). For a further discussion 
of these specifications, please reference the NPRM.\100\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \99\ Schneider, L.W., Robbins, D.H., Pfl[uuml]g, M.A. and 
Snyder, R.G. (1985). Anthropometry of Motor Vehicle Occupants; 
Volume 1--Procedures, Summary Findings and Appendices. National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT 806 715.
    \100\ 75 FR 76232.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Using these specifications, the NPRM proposed a test procedure 
whereby an initial forward-looking eye midpoint of the driver 
(Mf) is located 632 mm vertically above the H point and 96 
mm aft of the H point. Further, the proposed procedure located the 
head/neck joint center (J) 100 mm rearward of the forward-looking eye 
midpoint and 588 mm vertically above the H point. A point of rotation 
(J2) would then be determined by drawing an imaginary 
horizontal line between the forward-looking eye midpoint 
(Mf) and a point vertically above the head/neck joint center 
(J). Finally, the proposed test procedure would locate the test 
reference point (Mr) by rotating the forward-looking eye 
midpoint about the aforementioned point of rotation until the straight-
line distance between test reference point and the center of the visual 
display reaches the shortest possible value. The locations of these 
points are visually represented in Figure 2.
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

[[Page 19214]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR07AP14.001

BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
Comments
    In response to the NPRM, the agency received comments requesting 
that the values proposed in the test procedure be harmonized with other 
test procedures already utilized in other FMVSSs. The Alliance noted 
that while the forward looking eye midpoint of the driver 
(Mf) is located 632 mm vertically above the H point in the 
proposed rule, FMVSS No. 104 references a horizontal plane 635 mm 
vertically above the H point. In order to increase consistency across 
the various standards, the Alliance requested that the final rule place 
the forward looking eye midpoint of the driver (Mf) 635 mm 
above the H point. Toyota's comments also expressed support for the 
Alliance comments on this issue.
Agency Response
    After reviewing the comments from Toyota and the Alliance, we agree 
that the requirements of FMVSS No. 104 and

[[Page 19215]]

today's final rule should be harmonized. We note that, as the 
requirements for other regulated equipment in FMVSS No. 111 incorporate 
the eye point defined in FMVSS No. 104, utilizing the eye point from 
FMVSS No. 104 would have the effect of harmonizing the agency's test 
procedures across FMVSS No. 111. The 632 mm eye point referenced in the 
proposed rule was established using an eye point for the 50th 
percentile male driver. As previously noted in our discussion on image 
size, the agency has analyzed the sensitivity of moving the eye point 
for testing purposes. Our calculations found that the difference 
between a 5th percentile female and a 95th percentile male apparent 
image size was only 0.03 minutes of arc for a nominal apparent image 
size of 5 minutes arc. Based on that analysis, we believe that a 3 mm 
testing height modification from the requirements proposed in the NPRM 
does not have any significant impact on the test results. As such a 
modification would decrease the complexity of compliance with FMVSS No. 
111 as a whole, we agree with the Alliance and Toyota that an eye 
height of 635 mm above the H point is most appropriate for today's 
final rule.
Measurement Procedure Camera Positioning
    In the NPRM, we also proposed a measurement procedure which located 
a 35 mm or larger format still camera, video camera, or digital 
equivalent such that the center of the camera's image plane is located 
at point Mr (as defined above in our discussion of the test 
reference point). The test procedure further instructed that the camera 
lens be directed at the center of the visual display's rearview image.
Comments
    Two concerns were raised during the technical workshop in regards 
to this procedure. First, the Alliance requested clarification as to 
what constitutes the image plane in the camera. Second, the Alliance 
also recommended that the agency set a test condition regarding the 
position and orientation of the rearview mirror during testing. Such a 
condition would ensure that when the camera lens is directed to the 
center of the visual display's rearview image, a rearview mirror 
mounted display would also be facing the camera in the test procedure.
Agency Response
    In response to the Alliance's first concern regarding the image 
plane, we note that the image plane is the film or sensor location 
within the camera used pursuant to this test procedure. This 
clarification is consistent with the manner in which agency has 
conducted the test procedure for school bus mirrors in FMVSS No. 111. 
In response to the Alliance's second concern, we agree that for 
adjustable displays such as in-mirror displays, there may be various 
possible orientations which could affect the measurement of the image 
size and field of view through the camera used in the test procedure. 
Thus, we have clarified in the test procedure in today's final rule 
that an adjustable display will be adjusted such that it is normal to 
the vector established by points Mr and J2 or as 
close to normal as the adjustment mechanism will permit if the range of 
adjustment will not allow the display to be positioned normal to the 
vector established by Mr and J2. This additional 
specification will ensure that any adjustable rearview display will be 
oriented such that it is facing the camera used pursuant to this test 
procedure.
Driver Seating Position
    In the ANPRM, we noted that the driver vertical seating position 
recommended by manufacturers for agency crash tests is generally at the 
lowest adjustable position. We requested comment on whether this 
adjustment position would be suitable for the 50th percentile male. In 
response, Nissan, General Motors, and the Alliance indicated that their 
comments on the ANPRM regarding the test reference position were also 
applicable in regards to driver seating position. Honda also reiterated 
its concern that a regulation accommodating varying driver sizes would 
increase costs, especially when applied to mirror-based 
countermeasures.
    After considering these comments, the NPRM proposed a driver 
seating position which utilized the recommendation from the ANPRM that 
the driver seating position be adjusted to the lowest possible vertical 
setting. In order to add clarity, the NPRM also proposed to adjust the 
driver seat position to the midpoint along its longitudinal adjustment 
range. Finally, the NPRM also proposed that a three dimensional SAE 
J826 (rev. Jul 95) manikin be used to adjust the driver seat back angle 
to 25 degrees.
Comments
    In its comments on the NPRM, the Alliance suggested that the Driver 
Seating Position condition in the proposed test procedure be harmonized 
with the test procedure in FMVSS No. 208. Specifically, the 
organization requested that the test procedure specify the seat back 
angle be adjusted to the ``nominal design riding position'' recommended 
by the manufacturer. It further recommended that the agency clarify 
that if no midpoint exists in the longitudinal adjustment range, the 
closest adjustment position to the rear of the midpoint should be used. 
These suggestions were supported by both Toyota and Volkswagen.
Agency Response
    The agency has considered these comments on the driver seating 
position. However, we decline to adopt the nominal seating position 
test condition as proposed by the Alliance in today's final rule. 
Unlike in FMVSS No. 208, we believe it is necessary to specify the 
seating position in FMVSS No. 111 because these standards address 
different safety concerns. While FMVSS No. 208 regulates crash 
protection, FMVSS No. 111 regulates rear visibility. Unlike in FMVSS 
No. 208, minor variations in the seating position can significantly 
affect the eye point used to evaluate compliance with the requirements 
of today's final rule (particularly with respect to the possibility 
that certain interior features of vehicle cabin can become obstacles 
between the specified eye point in the test procedure and the rearview 
image). Because the seating position is an important condition which 
can significantly affect the test results, the agency does not believe 
it is appropriate to allow manufacturers to certify using a nominal 
seating position (defined by the manufacturers) in this rule. To 
evaluate compliance using the nominal seating position in this rule 
would introduce a variable into the test procedure which may affect the 
objectivity and repeatability of the test procedure. Thus, today's 
final rule does not adopt a nominal seating position test condition as 
requested by the commenter.
    However, we agree with the Alliance that the regulatory text should 
clarify the longitudinal adjustment setting of the driver seat should 
no adjustment position exist at the exact longitudinal midpoint. We 
agree with the Alliance's recommendation that in this situation, the 
closest adjustment position to the rear of the longitudinal midpoint 
should be used. Thus, today's final rule adjusts the regulatory text 
accordingly in paragraph S14.1.2.5.1.
Lighting Conditions
    In the ANPRM, NHTSA requested comment on possible lighting 
conditions that could be used during the test procedure. In response to 
the ANPRM, KidsAndCars.org and Rosco commented that the rear visibility

[[Page 19216]]

systems should be required to work during nighttime conditions. General 
Motors and Sony also offered different low-light ambient lighting 
conditions such as 3 and 5 lux but recommended that the vehicle's 
reverse lights be activated during the test. Finally, the Automotive 
Occupant Restraints Council recommended that the test condition specify 
a minimum and maximum ambient light condition that simulates daytime 
driving conditions. The NPRM tentatively agreed with the Automotive 
Occupant Restraints Council. We reasoned that since 95 percent of the 
SCI backover cases occurred during daytime conditions, conducting the 
compliance test in a worst-case nighttime condition may be an 
unnecessarily challenging requirement relative to real world 
conditions. Thus, we proposed in the NPRM an ambient lighting condition 
of 10,000 lux and proposed that the ambient lighting condition be 
measured at the center of exterior surface of the vehicle's roof.
Comments
    In response to the NPRM, the Consumers Union, the Advocates, and 
KidsAndCars.org suggested the agency adopt lighting conditions that are 
intended to simulate nighttime conditions. KidsAndCars.org commented 
that in approximately 30% of backover incidents that they have 
reviewed, the backover incident occurred during nighttime lighting 
conditions. Thus, these organizations suggested that it is necessary to 
specify the test conditions to reflect low-light conditions.
    On the other hand, Global Automakers commented that because the 
majority of backover incidents occur during daytime conditions which 
can vary from 10,000 lux to 100,000 lux, automakers should have the 
option of setting the ambient lighting conditions to above 10,000 lux 
during testing. Honda requested that the agency set a tolerance level 
in order to allow for consistent and repeatable testing. Separately, 
Global Automakers requested clarification in the technical workshop as 
to how the agency would measure the ambient lighting condition at the 
center of the exterior surface of the vehicle's roof if the vehicle is 
designed with a removable roof panel or convertible top.
Agency Response
    While we acknowledge the concerns expressed by the advocacy groups 
regarding the performance of rear visibility systems under low light 
conditions, we do not specify (in today's final rule) low light test 
conditions which would establish minimum requirements for low light 
performance of rear visibility systems. As noted in the NPRM, the vast 
majority of the SCI cases reviewed by the agency occurred during 
daylight hours. Accordingly, the proposed rule in the NPRM did not 
include provisions regulating performance under night time or low-light 
testing conditions. While we acknowledge that approximately 30% of the 
cases reviewed by KidsAndCars.org occurred during night time hours, the 
data still demonstrate that a large majority of backover crashes occur 
during daylight hours. We also note that the agency currently requires 
backup lamps on all the vehicles covered by today's final rule. FMVSS 
No. 108 contains various minimum photometric intensity requirements 
depending on the angle in which measurement is taken. For the downward 
angles (angles pointing towards the ground), the minimum requirements 
can range between 30 candela and 160 candela. While we acknowledge that 
these lamps do not provide the same lighting conditions as normal 
daylight conditions, we believe that these lamps will augment the 
ability of rear visibility systems to successfully detect pedestrians 
behind the vehicle.
    Finally, we note that the current test procedure has been designed 
for daytime conditions and might not be objective if it were performed 
under low light conditions because the view of each test object's 
visibility would be less clear. In other words, under low light 
conditions, the current test procedure does not offer a clear and 
objective method for distinguishing between rear visibility systems 
that can sufficiently display the required portions of the test objects 
(under low light conditions) from those that cannot. Without additional 
research, the agency is currently unaware of a test procedure that it 
can use to determine objectively the sufficiency of the view of the 
required portions of the test objects in low light conditions. Thus, we 
decline to adopt a low-light testing condition as requested by 
KidsAndCars.org in today's final rule.
    However, even though the agency is unable to establish minimum low 
light performance standards for rear visibility systems in today's 
final rule, we expect that manufacturers will design their rear 
visibility systems so as to afford their customers the reasonable 
ability to utilize this important safety equipment under a variety of 
lighting conditions. In addition, the agency plans to monitor the rear 
visibility systems utilized to meet the requirements of today's final 
rule and will initiate additional rulemaking to establish minimum low 
light performance requirements for rear visibility systems should 
additional requirements become necessary in the future.
    Separately, the agency declines to adopt the recommendations of 
Global Automakers and Honda to allow for a lighting tolerance above 
10,000 lux. While we agree that lighting conditions under the sun can 
be as bright as 100,000 lux, such a testing condition would be 
impracticable to achieve in a lab testing environment. However, we do 
agree with the commenters that the lighting condition should allow the 
testing facility a level of tolerance. We believe this is appropriate 
in order to reduce the burden of requiring such precision in this test 
condition and do not believe that this change will have any practical 
impact of the results of the test. Thus, we have modified the 
regulatory text in today's final rule to allow for a range of lighting 
conditions between 7,000 lux and 10,000 lux in order to simulate dim 
daylight conditions which can be achieved in a test laboratory setting.
    Finally, we acknowledge Global Automaker's inquiry regarding the 
measurement procedure for the ambient lighting for vehicles with 
removable roof panels or convertible tops. In response, we note that 
the ambient lighting test procedure would assume that such roof panels 
or convertible tops are in place so that the measurement of the ambient 
lighting condition can be measured from the center of the exterior 
surface of the vehicle's roof.
Other Vehicle Test Conditions
    In addition to the test reference point, driver seating position, 
and lighting conditions, the NPRM also proposed other test conditions 
to ensure test repeatability. These conditions specified that the 
vehicle tires be inflated to the manufacturer's recommended cold 
inflation pressure, the fuel tank is full, and that vehicle is carrying 
the simulated weight of the driver and four passengers. The weight of 
each driver or passenger is simulated at 68 kg in the NPRM with 45 kg 
being loaded in the seat pan and 23 kg on the floorboard.
Comments
    In its comments on the NPRM, the Alliance noted that the proposed 
vehicle loading test conditions in the proposed rule differed from the 
loading conditions for the other requirements in FMVSS No. 111. The 
Alliance recommended that, given the minimal impact that these loading 
conditions will have on the field of view

[[Page 19217]]

measurement, the loading requirements should be harmonized for both the 
rearview mirror and rearview camera tests at simply the average 
occupant weight of 68 kg. In addition, the Alliance requested clarity 
during the technical workshop in regards to how the vehicle would be 
loaded if there are more than 5 designated seating positions.
    Separately, Honda expressed concern in its comments that no vehicle 
testing condition is specified in regards to the positioning of vehicle 
openings such as hatches and doors. As openings (such as hatches) may 
contain rearview cameras, Honda requested that the regulatory text 
specify that the hatches and doors of the vehicle are closed during the 
test procedure.
Agency Response
    Considering the Alliance's comment concerning the occupant weight, 
the agency notes that the weight distribution may not be critical in 
many vehicle configurations. However, we are concerned that in some 
cases it may impact the vehicle's pitch in a way that alters the 
outcome of the visibility test. Unlike the mirror requirements of FMVSS 
No. 111, today's final rule does not require the rear visibility system 
to be adjustable in the horizontal and vertical direction, therefore 
the potential impacts of vehicle pitch because of weight is more 
critical than in the mirror provisions of FMVSS No. 111. Furthermore, 
the agency believes that splitting the weight about the seat and floor 
pan more accurately simulates an actual vehicle occupant. Accordingly, 
we decline to amend the vehicle loading requirements as requested by 
the Alliance.
    However, we agree with the Alliance that the loading conditions 
proposed in the NPRM did not clearly state how the vehicle would be 
loaded if a vehicle has more than 5 designated seating positions. Thus, 
we have amended the regulatory text in today's final rule to specify 
that when a vehicle has more than 5 designated seating positions, the 
68 kg weights simulating each of the five occupants shall be placed in 
the driver's designated seating position and any other available 
designated seating position in the vehicle.
    We also acknowledge Honda's concern that the vehicle test condition 
does not specify that all the vehicle doors and hatches must be closed 
during the test. We agree with Honda that many rear visibility systems 
may have exterior components which collect the rearview image from a 
source mounted on a rear hatch or trunk lid. We further agree that 
opening or closing these trunk lids or rear hatches have the potential 
to affect test results for compliance purposes. Therefore, we are 
specifying in the test procedure in today's final rule that rear trunk 
lids and hatches are closed and latched in their normal vehicle 
operating state during the test.
Display Obstructions
    In addition to the aforementioned concerns, Global Automakers and 
Honda expressed concern in their comments that certain vehicle interior 
design features may obscure the rearview display during testing.
Comments
    Honda explained in its comments that they have designed rearview 
displays that are placed some distance behind a protective transparent 
cover. It requested clarification on how measurements of such images 
displayed in these screens would be accomplished. Also expressing this 
concern, Global Automakers commented that the test procedures specify 
these protective covers be removed during testing. Further, Global 
Automakers also requested clarification as to whether or not dashboard 
intrusions, which may partially obstruct the view of the display screen 
from the perspective of the testing view point, would affect the 
compliance of the view screen.
Agency Response
    In order for today's final rule to be effective, it is necessary 
for the driver of the vehicle to see the required portions of the test 
objects in the rearview image. We define visibility based on a picture 
taken of the rearview image, at a defined point which approximates the 
eye point of a 50th percentile male driver, showing various test 
objects located behind the vehicle. If this view is obstructed by 
vehicle equipment (such as dashboard intrusions), the ability for the 
driver to detect objects behind the vehicle may be compromised. While 
we acknowledge that drivers are able to adjust their head position in 
order to accommodate certain small obstructions, this rule establishes 
at least a central location that is free of obstructions so that most 
drivers will be able to easily adjust their head (if needed) in order 
to see the entire rearview image. Thus, today's final rule makes no 
special accommodation for dashboard intrusions that obscure portions of 
the rearview image. The required portions of the test objects, as shown 
in the rearview image, must be visible to the driver from the eye point 
defined in the test procedure.
    Finally, we acknowledge Honda's concern that certain rearview 
displays may be placed behind transparent covers that may affect the 
ability to affix a ruler to the rearview display as described the test 
procedure. Depending on the specific situation, we note that it may be 
necessary to remove the transparent cover or use an alternative method 
to obtain the measurement of the subtended angle. The agency believes 
that, as long as the measurement of the subtended angle is valid, 
accommodating rear visibility systems with transparent covers over the 
rearview display in the performance of the test will not alter the test 
results.

g. Linger Time, Deactivation, and Backing Event

    As part of the agency's effort to ensure the rearview image 
presents the required field of view at the appropriate time, the agency 
has explored the possibility of restricting when the rearview image may 
be displayed. In the ANPRM, the agency noted that a maximum linger time 
(which discontinues the rear view display after a certain period of 
time) may be desirable in order to prevent driver distraction. However, 
the ANPRM also expressed our concern that some linger time may be 
desirable in certain instances where frequent interchange between 
reverse and forward directions are common (such as during trailer 
hitching or parallel parking). Thus, the agency tentatively suggested a 
linger time requirement of not less than 4 seconds but no greater than 
8 seconds.
    During the comment period for the ANPRM, commenters raised a 
variety of suggestions for an appropriate restriction on image linger 
time. Nissan suggested that there is little utility for extending the 
linger time greater than 200 milliseconds whereas General Motors 
suggested an image linger time of 10 seconds or a speed based limit of 
5 mph. The Alliance, on the other hand, suggested 10 seconds or 20 kph 
(12.4 mph). Further, both General Motors and the Alliance commented 
that a maximum linger time would address the agency's concern and that 
it is not necessary to specify a minimum time. In considering these 
comments, the agency agreed that a maximum linger time would 
sufficiently address NHTSA's safety concern and that a minimum linger 
time requirement is not necessary. Accordingly, we noted the 
commenters' findings based on actual driving data and proposed in the 
NPRM a maximum linger time of 10 seconds.
    In addition to the linger time requirement, we proposed in the NPRM 
a deactivation restriction. This

[[Page 19218]]

requirement was designed to ensure that the safety feature required by 
this rule would not be permanently or accidentally disabled. Thus, in 
addition to the maximum linger time requirement, the proposed 
regulatory text in the NPRM stated that the ``rearview image shall not 
be extinguishable by any driver-controlled means.''
Comments
    Vehicle and equipment manufacturers expressed various concerns 
regarding these two proposed requirements. The first concern was 
expressed primarily by the vehicle manufacturers in regards to only the 
linger time requirement. In their comments, the vehicle manufacturers 
asked for flexibility in the manner in which they can approach the 
maximum linger time requirement. Similar to its comments on the ANPRM, 
the Alliance requested that manufacturers be afforded three linger time 
requirement options: (1) A time based option of 10-15 seconds, (2) 
speed based option of 5-10 mph, and forward travel distance based 
option of less than 10 meters. The organization contended that 
manufacturers need the ability to set the linger time that is 
appropriate for the consumer expectations for each specific type of 
vehicle. Other manufacturers also requested that the agency adopt 
variations of the Alliance recommendation. BMW suggested a 10 mph, 10 
seconds, or 10 meters linger time requirement, whereas Mercedes-Benz 
requested a linger time of up to 15 seconds in order to accommodate its 
current system designs.
    The second concern is expressed by both vehicle and equipment 
manufacturers with regard to both the proposed linger time and 
deactivation restrictions. In general, the commenters expressed concern 
that the deactivation and linger time restrictions could function to 
prohibit designs which include camera/video features other than the 
field of view required by this rule. For example, the Alliance and Sony 
suggested that the proposed rule could preclude manufacturers from 
offering certain additional views such as ``trailer tow zooming'' and 
``top view'' displays. To address this, both recommended that the 
standard require the video display default to a FMVSS No. 111-compliant 
view, but afford the option to the driver of manually switching the 
view. Additionally, Global Automakers and Honda were concerned that the 
deactivation requirement could preclude driver controlled overlays on 
the screen. They contended that some of these elements need to be 
displayed concurrently with the rearview image in order to properly 
afford the driver the ability to adjust various aspects of the rearview 
display (such as screen brightness and contrast). Volkswagen also 
commented that the deactivation requirement would prohibit visual 
display screens that can be pushed back into a stow position that are 
not visible to the driver. Finally, Sony commented that the maximum 
linger time could preclude views such as a 360-degree view which 
drivers may wish to use while the vehicle is in motion to enhance 
situational awareness.
    Separate from the aforementioned main concerns, the agency also 
received comments questioning the appropriateness of these requirements 
in this rule. First, Honda's comments suggested that the linger time 
should not be a requirement because the rearview image is no more 
distracting than a simple rearview mirror and further requested that 
any linger time requirement not affect the driver's use of other camera 
features. Sony expresses a similar concept stating that the linger time 
requirement does not advance the goals of this rulemaking because the 
requirement is focused on preventing driver distraction as opposed to 
increasing rear visibility. Additionally, Rosco contended that NHTSA 
should exclude commercial vehicles from the linger time requirement 
because those vehicles may utilize the camera for lane changing safety 
and other uses. And finally, Brigade expressed agreement in its 
comments with NHTSA's analysis that a minimum linger time would not be 
necessary as it would restrict designs that would alter the view 
displayed after the vehicle direction selector is shifted away from 
reverse.
Agency Response
    After reviewing the comments, we agree with the arguments advanced 
by many commenters regarding the need for increased flexibility to 
accommodate different vehicle designs and additional camera functions. 
The agency remains concerned that the rearview image may become a 
distraction to drivers during forward driving maneuvers and that 
drivers may permanently or accidentally deactivate the rearview safety 
feature. However, the agency does not intend to preclude this design 
flexibility in today's final rule and believes that the following 
revisions appropriately balance our safety concerns with the 
commenters' request for design flexibility.
    Thus, today's final rule addresses the concerns of the 
aforementioned commenters through establishing a ``backing event'' that 
would serve as the reference for the maximum linger time and 
deactivation requirements. Today's final rule includes an additional 
definition which defines a backing event as ``an amount of time which 
starts when the vehicle's direction selector is placed in reverse, and 
ends at the manufacture's choosing, when the vehicle forward motion 
reaches either; (a) a speed of 10 mph, (b) a distance of 10 meters 
traveled, or (c) a continuous duration of 10 seconds.'' In light of 
this new definition, today's final rule requires that within 2.0 
seconds of the beginning of each backing event, a rearview image 
compliant with today's final rule must be displayed and that rearview 
image must not be displayed beyond the end of the backing event. 
However, today's final rule permits manufacturers to design the vehicle 
to enable the driver to manually select a different view during the 
backing event so long as the default view presented to the driver at 
the beginning of each backing event is compliant with the requirements 
of today's rule.
    Since the agency agrees with both the Alliance and BMW that the 
appropriate end of a backing event can vary depending on the type of 
maneuvers anticipated to be performed in each vehicle model, we have 
established a ``backing event'' definition in today's final rule which 
affords such flexibility. Further, the agency does not anticipate the 
additional flexibility included in today's final rule to have a 
discernible impact on safety. We agree with the parking example from 
BMW's comment that the optional 10-meter limit is reasonable based on 
the likelihood that when vehicles travel forward at a greater distance 
than 10 meters, the driver's intention to park in a given spot has 
concluded. Likewise, the agency believes that in situations such as a 
trailer hitching maneuver, a driver whose speed has increased to 10 mph 
will have concluded that maneuver and should no longer be presented 
with this rule's required rearview image. After one of these limits has 
been reached, the backing event is finished. Therefore, if the 
transmission is then shifted to reverse, a new backing event is 
initialized and the rearview image defined in this rule must then be 
displayed.\101\
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    \101\ We note that the requirement to show the FMVSS No. 111-
compliant field of view at the beginning of each backing event 
differs from the test procedures used to assess the performance 
criteria for rearview video systems for the purposes of NCAP. As 
explained in the NCAP final decision notice, we verify conformity 
with the NCAP field of view criterion by assessing the initial view 
shown by the system after an ignition cycle. We made this decision 
in NCAP because we believed that prior to today's final rule (and 
during this rule's phase-in period) consumers would benefit from 
information on rearview video systems being listed as a 
``Recommended Advanced Technology Feature'' even if these systems 
did not show the default view at the beginning each backing event. 
On balance, we believed that consumers would realize many benefits 
from systems that at least show the relevant field of view at the 
beginning of each ignition cycle and NCAP should recommend those 
systems to consumers. However, in light of the decision in today's 
final rule to accommodate manufacturers' prior system designs during 
the phase-in period (by delaying implementation of the performance 
requirements beyond the field of view), we believe it is appropriate 
for the long-term performance requirements to require the default 
view (that is compliant with FMVSS No. 111) at the beginning of each 
backing event. By using these slightly different approaches in NCAP 
and in today's final rule, we believe that the agency can maximize 
the value of information given to consumers in the short-term and 
the safety benefits of rear visibility systems in the long-term.

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[[Page 19219]]

    Considering the comments on additional views, the agency does not 
intend to restrict currently available alternative views such as ``top 
view'' and ``trailer mode'' or other potential views that may be 
developed in the future. Additionally, the agency recognizes that 
screen adjustments such as brightness and contrast are consistent with 
the goal of affording the driver a clear view behind the vehicle and 
may reasonably be overlaid on top of the required rearview image as 
long as they are manually activated by the driver. However, the agency 
does believe that the field of view defined by this final rule is vital 
to ensuring that drivers are able to avoid the backover crashes 
contemplated by Congress in the K.T. Safety Act. To reasonably balance 
this safety concern while still affording the aforementioned 
flexibility of design, today's final rule does not restrict 
manufacturers from providing a driver-controlled means by which the 
rearview image defined in this rule can be altered, provided that the 
vehicle displays the required rearview image at the beginning of every 
backing event.
    On the other hand, the agency does not agree with Sony and Honda 
that this rule should not provide restrictions against excessive linger 
time. We do not agree that the rearview image display is no more 
distracting than a rearview mirror as an illuminated display has 
fundamentally different properties when compared to a mirror. For 
instance, the prolonged illumination of the required image at night 
would be particularly distracting when the vehicle is traveling 
forward. Furthermore, unlike mirrors required on passenger cars and 
trucks, the required field of view coverage under this rule does not 
provide useful information for the driver while the vehicle is moving 
forward. We also do not agree that driver distraction is not a proper 
concern of this rulemaking. As in every rule, NHTSA desires to be 
cautious and avoid situations that can potentially increase safety 
risks.
    Finally, today's final rule also does not include an exclusion from 
the linger time requirement for commercial vehicles as requested by 
Rosco. Rosco requested this additional flexibility as it could be 
advantageous for certain vehicles such as small school buses, airport 
shuttles, or local delivery vehicles to constantly monitor the rear of 
the vehicle. While the rearview image defined in this final rule has 
been designed to enable a driver to detect pedestrians such as small 
children directly behind the vehicle during backing maneuvers, we have 
not evaluated the safety implications of using this rearview image in 
high speed forward moving situations as it was not part of the safety 
problem today's rule is designed to address. Further, as stated above, 
the agency desires to be very cautious not to increase safety risk by 
allowing this novel application of the rearview safety equipment. 
Therefore, today's final rule does not include any exclusion that would 
allow commercial vehicles to continue to display the required image 
after the end of a backing event.

h. Image Response Time

    The agency has expressed concern that if the rear visibility system 
does not display the required field of view promptly, the safety 
benefit of this system will be reduced because drivers may begin 
backing maneuvers before the field of view is displayed. Thus, in both 
the ANPRM and NPRM, the agency has explored a response time requirement 
that would limit the amount of time that can pass between driver's 
selection of the reverse gear and the video screen display of the 
required field of view. The ANPRM requested comment on a possible 
resolution to this issue by suggesting a preliminary maximum response 
time of 1.25 seconds. After considering the comments on the ANPRM, the 
agency proposed a 2.0 second response time requirement in the NPRM.
    In proposing the 2.0 second requirement, the agency cited two 
technological limitations that necessitated a longer maximum response 
time. First, the agency took note that both GM and Gentex indicated a 
need for additional tolerances for their systems to produce the 
required image in part because their systems conduct image quality 
control checks before displaying the image. Both manufacturers stated 
in their comments that a required image response time of 1.25 may 
adversely affect the image quality displayed.
    Second, the agency noted that liquid crystal displays (LCDs) 
require time to warm-up before they can display an image and that this 
time may vary depending on the location of the visual display. The 
agency acknowledged that in-mirror displays (which are only activated 
when the reverse gear is selected) may require additional warm-up time 
when compared to in-dash displays (which may be already in use for 
other purposes such as route navigation). For these reasons, the 
proposed rule in the NPRM extended the image response time requirement. 
As the agency was not aware of any rationale that justified extending 
the response time requirement beyond 2.0 seconds, the agency stated 
that a 2.0 second response time would be appropriate.
    Separately, the NPRM took note of the comments from the Advocates 
which recommended that vehicles be equipped with an interlock feature 
which would prevent the vehicle from reversing until the rear 
visibility system has fully initialized. The Advocates contended that 
this feature would ensure that drivers have the required field of view 
available when the driver commences the backing maneuver. In response 
to the Advocates' comment, NHTSA expressed concern that such a feature 
may cause annoyance with drivers. While we did not propose an interlock 
requirement in the NPRM, we requested comment on the merits of such a 
feature.
Comments
    Generally, the advocacy groups have commented that the response 
time should be reduced. These groups share the agency's concern that if 
drivers are not quickly presented with the required field of view, they 
may begin their backing maneuvers without waiting for the rear view 
display. Therefore, the Advocates stated that the standard should 
require a 1.0 second maximum response time and require an interlock 
feature for vehicles that do not meet the 1.0 second requirement. 
Similarly, the Consumers Union suggested the agency adopt the 2.0 
second requirement or a shorter technologically feasible response time 
and that we grant no allowance for system initialization. The Consumers 
Union noted that image response time can be significantly longer when 
the vehicle is first initializing.
    Conversely, the manufacturers were generally concerned that the 2.0 
second response time requirement proposed in the NPRM is too stringent 
when

[[Page 19220]]

considered with the system initialization process. Global Automakers 
suggested that the 2.0 second response time is inappropriate for 
situations where the vehicle is shifted into reverse immediately after 
starting the engine. They contended that this is an abnormally quick 
process compared to real world conditions and recommended that the 
agency establish a test procedure where the vehicle is running for at 
least 10 seconds before shifting the vehicle into reverse and measuring 
the 2.0 second response time. Using similar reasoning, the Alliance and 
Volkswagen proposed a 3.0 second response time requirement when tested 
within 4-20 seconds of opening the driver side door. The Alliance and 
Mercedes-Benz also stated that this change is necessary in order to 
accommodate existing rear view systems, which have not been designed to 
meet the 2.0 second response time requirement. They cautioned that 
requiring the manufacturers to change these designs apart from the 
normal product cycle would significantly increase costs. On the other 
hand, Honda did not request any change to the response time requirement 
because their newer systems will be redesigned to meet the proposed 
requirement. Thus, they requested that the image response time 
requirement be delayed until the end of the phase-in period.
    The equipment manufacturers generally stated in their comments that 
their products will be able to meet the proposed 2.0 second response 
time requirement. Magna stated that the proposed requirement in the 
NPRM ``appears to be both technically and practically achievable.'' 
However, Panasonic echoed the manufacturers' concerns by asking the 
agency to consider the initialization process, ambient conditions, and 
the drop in voltage experienced during engine crank start. On the other 
hand, Brigade cautioned that drivers may not wait for a delayed image 
and requested a 1.0 second response time requirement. Finally, Magna 
noted that the research conducted by this agency seems to indicate that 
drivers with video displays may wait for the display to appear before 
commencing the backing maneuver.
    Additionally, the manufacturers and one supplier requested that the 
test condition for image response time specify an ambient room 
temperature in order to accommodate for response time variation due to 
temperature. Magna requested that the test condition for response time 
be set to 20 degrees Celsius +/- 5 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, 
Volkswagen and the Alliance recommended that the test condition be set 
to a temperature of 70 +/- 10 degrees Fahrenheit. During the technical 
workshop, the Alliance also recommended that the agency specify a test 
condition for the gear position for manual vehicles which could be 
initiated with the transmission in the reverse position.
    Finally, in response to our request for comment on the merits of 
interlocks in the NPRM, Magna commented that drivers would view an 
interlock feature, which removes direct and immediate control from the 
driver, with ill-regard. The company stated that drivers often may need 
to reverse a vehicle quickly at a red light-controlled intersection in 
order to avoid being struck by a reversing vehicle in front which has 
unintentionally intruded into the intersection. The Alliance raised 
similar arguments by raising the concern that drivers may need to 
reverse quickly when conducting three-point turns in traffic. Further, 
the Alliance stated it is unaware of any practical methods of 
incorporating such an interlock into a vehicle without creating a 
danger of sudden acceleration as such a feature would create a 
disconnect between the driver's command and the vehicle response.
NCAP Request for Comments and Final Decision Notice
    The agency also examined this particular issue in the context of 
updating NCAP to include rearview video systems. In the NCAP request 
for comments, the agency stated (in order to address the aforementioned 
concerns from manufacturers regarding the state of the vehicle prior to 
testing) its plan to use a vehicle conditioning procedure prior to 
assessing the NCAP image response time criterion. The procedure 
announced in the NCAP request for comments was as follows:

    Image response time test procedure. The temperature inside the 
vehicle during this test is any temperature between 15 [deg]C and 25 
[deg]C. Immediately prior to commencing the actions listed in 
subparagraphs (a)-(c) of this paragraph, all components of the 
rearview video system are in a powered off state. Then:
    (a) Open the driver's door,
    (b) activate the starting system using the key,\102\ and
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    \102\ We stated in our NCAP request for comments that the terms 
``starting system'' and ``key'' have the same meanings that these 
terms have in FMVSS No. 114, Theft protection and rollaway 
prevention. See 49 CFR Part 571.114.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (c) place the vehicle in reverse at any time not less than 4 
seconds after the driver's door is opened.

    We intended this procedure to establish not only the state of the 
vehicle's rear visibility systems prior to testing, but also to 
establish the temperature conditions during the test. We believed that 
this procedure established an appropriate balance between ensuring that 
the view of the area behind the vehicle associated with the highest 
crash risk is available to the driver in a timely fashion and affording 
the vehicle manufacturers all reasonable design flexibility. We 
reasoned that a vehicle conditioning procedure lasting no less than 4.0 
seconds would be appropriate because our naturalistic driving data 
\103\ indicate that approximately 90% of drivers do not select the 
reverse gear to begin the backing maneuver less than 4.25 seconds after 
opening the vehicle's door.\104\ In other words, only approximately 10% 
of the time drivers enter their vehicle and select the reverse gear in 
less than 4.25 seconds. Thus, we believed that a vehicle conditioning 
procedure that could test a vehicle in as little as 4.0 seconds after 
the beginning of the procedure would most closely mimic the vast 
majority of real world conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \103\ These data are information NHTSA prepared in support of 
the research report titled ``On-Road Study of Drivers' Use of 
Rearview Video Systems.'' See Mazzae, E. N., et al. (2008). On-Road 
Study of Drivers' Use of Rearview Video Systems (ORSDURVS), supra. A 
summary of these naturalistic driving data prepared for that study 
(as it pertains to the length of time drivers take to select the 
reverse gear) is available in Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0227.
    \104\ The naturalistic driving data indicate that 90% of drivers 
did not select the reverse gear less than 4.25 seconds after the 
system began collecting data. The systems used in this study may 
have initialized as a result of triggers which can include the door 
opening, the door unlocking, or using the key fob. While the agency 
acknowledges that the system may have begun recording data before 
the door was opened, we continue to believe that approximately 90% 
of drivers did not select the reverse gear in less than 4.25 
seconds. The agency believes that the time difference resulting from 
the different triggers would only affect the test results for 
drivers who took around 4.25 seconds to select the reverse gear 
because drivers taking significantly longer than 4.25 seconds to 
select the reverse gear most likely would not have selected the 
reverse gear in less than 4.25 seconds even if the system began 
recording data upon unlocking the vehicle door or using the key fob. 
The agency further believes that, for drivers that take around 4.25 
seconds to select the reverse gear, the data recording must have 
been initialized while the driver was very close to opening the 
vehicle door in order for the driver to complete all the tasks 
required in order to start the vehicle engine and select the reverse 
gear in around 4.25 seconds. Thus, while the data from the 
naturalistic study indicate that 90% of drivers selected the reverse 
gear not less than 4.25 seconds after the system began recording 
data and not after the driver opened the door, we continue to 
believe that approximately 90% of drivers selected the reverse gear 
not less than 4.25 seconds after opening the door.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In response to our NCAP request for comments, various manufacturers 
stated

[[Page 19221]]

a need for a maximum vehicle conditioning procedure time. They 
explained that vehicles are often designed to power down their 
electronic systems after a certain amount of time has elapsed. For 
example, GM recommended a maximum procedure time of 60 seconds and Ford 
recommended a maximum time of 5 seconds. We agreed in our NCAP final 
decision notice with the commenters that the vehicle conditioning 
procedure should have a maximum time limit. We therefore established a 
maximum test procedure time of 6.0 seconds. When we designed the 
vehicle conditioning procedure, we intended to test the system as 
closely to 4.0 seconds as possible to mimic real world driving 
conditions. Thus, in order to establish a practical test that clearly 
defined the conditions under which the system would be tested, we 
stated that the rearview video systems in NCAP would be assessed after 
the vehicle was conditioned according to the conditioning procedure 
that lasted between 4.0 to 6.0 seconds.\105\
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    \105\ In addition, we note that the NCAP final decision notice 
and the accompanying test procedure document also added clarifying 
details to the test procedure. It established: (1) A minimum width 
that the driver door should be opened (234 mm--or 9.2 in--the width 
of a 50th percentile male's chest); (2) that driver door is 
considered open at the ``first detected movement when the door edge 
of the driver's door is no longer flush with the exterior body panel 
at the B-pillar;'' and (3) that the driver door is shut afterwards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Agency Response
    We share the advocacy groups' concerns that drivers may begin their 
backing maneuvers without the benefit of the rear visibility system if 
they are not presented with the rearview image quickly enough. As we 
discussed in our analysis of SCI cases involving rearview video 
systems, the 2013 case involving a BMW X5 demonstrated the importance 
of having a response time requirement that is as stringent as 
technologically feasible. If the response time of vehicle's rear 
visibility system had been longer in that case, it is possible that the 
injuries to the pedestrian would have been more severe.
    However, we are unable to reduce the response time below 2.0 
seconds in today's final rule for a variety of reasons. First, we 
believe that to reduce the response time requirement below 2.0 seconds 
would unnecessarily restrict potentially safety-beneficial 
alternatives. When we consider both in-dash and in-mirror displays, we 
believe the current state of technology does not seem to be able to 
consistently achieve a response time of less than 2.0 seconds. Because 
in-mirror displays are generally not designed to be used for other 
purposes such as navigation or infotainment applications, in-mirror 
displays generally are only powered when the rearview image is 
required. Using currently available technology, it does not seem 
feasible for these displays to power up and display the required field 
of view in less than 2.0 seconds. However, as the agency is aware of 
the possibility that in-mirror displays may be a more natural location 
for certain drivers or vehicle types and such systems may have a 
shorter initialization time than in-dash displays, we believe it is not 
in the interests of safety to establish a response time requirement 
which would preclude this type of display.
    Second, the data show that approximately 95% of drivers do not 
begin backing the vehicle until at least 1.0 second has elapsed after 
the vehicle has been placed into reverse.\106\ Thus, for the vast 
majority of drivers, the rearview image will be available in less than 
one second after the driver is ready to begin the backing the vehicle. 
As the naturalistic driving data available to the agency currently 
reflect the behavior of drivers that are accustomed to backing without 
the assistance of the rear visibility system or viewing the rear 
visibility system as a convenience feature rather than a safety 
feature, the agency believes that it is reasonable to anticipate that, 
through further incorporation and driver education regarding rear 
visibility systems, drivers will become accustomed to waiting an 
additional (less than) 1.0 second for the rearview image to appear. 
While we encourage manufacturers to drive the rear visibility system 
image response time to a minimum, as well as to educate their customers 
regarding the proper use of this important safety feature, to require a 
response time below 2.0 seconds would unnecessarily restrict rear 
visibility systems from using in-mirror displays. Therefore, after 
considering all of these factors, today's final rule adopts the 
proposed requirement from the NPRM which requires that the rearview 
image be displayed within 2.0 seconds \107\ of the start of a backing 
event.\108\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \106\ Mazzae, E. N., et al. (2008). On-Road Study of Drivers' 
Use of Rearview Video Systems (ORSDURVS), supra. Our data analysis 
currently does not enable us to conclude how far drivers generally 
travel between the 1.0 second after some drivers start backing the 
vehicle and the 2.0 second response time requirement. To ascertain 
this information, we would need to consider not only the time at 
which drivers generally begin their backing maneuvers, but also the 
rate at which they accelerate their vehicles and the speed to which 
they accelerate. In our studies, we observed a variety of average 
backing speed (e.g., 3.3 ft/second and 1.5 ft/second in Studies 1 
and 3, respectively). However, we do not have information that 
indicates at what rate drivers accelerate the vehicle. As the rate 
of acceleration is crucial towards understanding how much distance a 
driver generally covers in the first second of the backing maneuver, 
we do not believe the current data enable us to make any conclusions 
on this matter.
    \107\ We note that, in response to the NCAP request for 
comments, the Alliance commented (without any additional reasoning) 
that a 3.0 second response time is the most appropriate. Similarly, 
GM commented that a 2.5 second response time is needed to 
accommodate systems using integrated console displays (as opposed to 
in-mirror displays). They reasoned that integrated console displays 
would take longer to initialize than in-mirror displays. As we 
stated in our NCAP final decision notice, these comments did not 
compel the agency to change the 2.0 second response time criterion 
for the purposes of NCAP. We reiterated our concern that, even if a 
system shows the appropriate view of the area behind the vehicle at 
an appropriate size, the driver will not be able to avoid a crash if 
the system is not active when the vehicle is moving in reverse. We 
also restated that the 2.0 second image response time was proposed 
originally in the NPRM for this rulemaking to accommodate in-mirror 
displays that would take longer than integrated console display to 
initialize because they are not normally activated prior to the 
backing maneuver for other purposes (e.g., for infotainment or 
navigation functions). Without any reasoning to support why 
integrated console displays now require additional time beyond that 
of the in-mirror displays to initialize, we declined to extend the 
response time criterion for the purposes of NCAP. In addition, for 
the purposes of today's final rule, we believe the same facts 
continue to be true. Thus, we also conclude in today's final rule 
that 2.0 seconds is the appropriate response time.
    \108\ As discussed previously in this document, today's final 
rule establishes a backing event which begins when the vehicle is 
placed into reverse. Thus, altering the response time requirement to 
2.0 seconds after the beginning of the backing event does not 
substantively change this requirement from the proposed rule in the 
NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, in regard to initialization time, the agency recognizes 
that for compliance testing purposes it is important to establish the 
state of the vehicle prior to the transmission being shifted into 
reverse. We acknowledge the difficulties noted by the manufacturers 
that the system initialization process may impede the ability of the 
rear visibility system to display the required rearview image within 
2.0 seconds. We further note the aforementioned naturalistic driving 
data that indicate that approximately 90% of drivers do not select the 
reverse gear to begin the backing maneuver less than 4.25 seconds after 
opening the vehicle's door. Thus, we believe that the NPRM, which would 
have required the 2.0 second response time regardless of vehicle state, 
did not fully account for real world driving situations that provide 
time for the vehicle's rear visibility system to initialize.
    However, we decline to adopt the specific recommendations from the 
manufacturers as they do not reflect real world driving conditions as 
reflected in

[[Page 19222]]

the available data. While we note that manufacturers currently use 
various triggers to begin the initialization process, we believe that 
both the 10 second initialization condition recommended by Global 
Automakers and the 4 to 20 second initialization condition recommended 
by the Alliance is not appropriate for this safety equipment. As it 
does not seem reasonable to expect drivers to wait 10-20 seconds for 
rear visibility systems to initialize before commencing their backing 
maneuvers, following the manufacturer's recommendation would aggravate 
our safety concern that drivers may begin backing maneuvers before the 
rearview image is available.\109\
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    \109\ For the same reason, we do not adopt the suggestion from 
the Global Automakers' comments to the NCAP request for comments 
suggesting that the vehicle conditioning procedure begin when the 
vehicle ignition is activated. While we recognize that manufacturers 
may design their rearview video systems to activate at the same time 
as the ignition, we do not believe it is necessary or appropriate to 
adjust the vehicle conditioning procedure for the image response 
time to begin at that point. Nothing in the vehicle conditioning 
procedure adopted in today's final rule precludes manufacturers from 
designing their systems to initialize when the vehicle's ignition is 
activated. However, to adjust the vehicle conditioning procedure to 
begin at a later time would aggravate our safety concern that the 
rearview image may not be available to drivers when they begin their 
backing maneuvers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thus, in an effort to address the aforementioned safety concern 
while not imposing a regulatory burden that does not reflect real world 
driving conditions, the agency is adopting the vehicle conditioning 
test procedure from the NCAP final decision notice that will condition 
the vehicle prior to the rearview image response time testing in 
section S14.2 of today's final rule. For the reasons we stated above 
(and in the NCAP final decision notice) we believe that the 4.0 to 6.0-
second vehicle conditioning procedure adopted for the purposes of NCAP 
would also be suitable for assessing compliance with the requirements 
adopted in today's final rule. We believe that this procedure 
establishes an objective and practicable testing method that 
appropriately addresses the safety need (i.e., ensuring that the 
rearview image is available during the backing maneuver) while also 
affording manufacturers as much design flexibility as possible.
    In this procedure, the vehicle condition will be established by 
opening the driver's side door,\110\ closing the driver's side 
door,\111\ activating the vehicle's starting system using the key, and 
selecting the vehicle's reverse direction. This procedure, starting 
with the opening of the vehicle door, and ending with selecting the 
vehicle's reverse direction,\112\ will occur in no less than 4.0 
seconds and no more than 6.0 seconds in order to reflect the 
naturalistic driving data mentioned above. While the requirements of 
today's final rule do not impose the burden on testing facilities to 
place the vehicle into reverse at exactly 4.0 seconds, today's rule 
allows for the agency to test for compliance with the 2.0 second 
rearview image response time requirement at any point between 4.0 and 
6.0 seconds after the initiation of the test procedure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \110\ As in the NCAP test procedure, today's final rule includes 
various details in the test procedure to clearly define the 
conditions of the test. However, instead of specifying a minimum 
width that the driver door should be opened, today's rule states 
that the driver door is open ``to any width.'' We believe that this 
test condition is more appropriate in this context for a few 
reasons. First, it defines the possible conditions under which the 
vehicle may be tested. Second, it does not require a testing 
facility to test under an exact door opening width condition when 
the performance requirements are based on time measured from the 
point when the door opens. In other words, the exact width at which 
the door is opened is not determinative of the outcome of the test 
so long as the door is opened. Today's final rule also adopts the 
clarifying detail to define when the driver door is open. The test 
procedure states that ``driver door is open when the edge of the 
driver's door opposite of the door's hinge is no longer flush with 
the exterior body panel'' We believe that, given the importance of 
timing in this test procedure, it is important to establish as 
clearly as possible when the test procedure begins. However, this 
language is slightly different from the NCAP test procedure (which 
assumed the door opening would also be along the B-pillar) in order 
to accommodate any vehicles with driver doors that open using a 
different mechanism.
    \111\ We've adopted this procedure from the NCAP test procedure 
as well as we believe this more fully simulates the real world 
conditions under which the systems will operate (i.e., drivers will 
not generally begin backing maneuvers without first closing the 
door).
    \112\ We note that the NCAP final decision notice adopted a 
vehicle conditioning procedure that ended with the ``selection of 
the reverse direction'' of the vehicle as opposed to placing the 
vehicle in the reverse direction. We received comments in response 
to the NCAP request for comments seeking clarification about how the 
agency would determine whether the vehicle was in reverse. Some 
commenters suggested using the vehicle's backup lamps as a 
reasonable proxy for determining that the vehicle is in reverse. We 
responded in the NCAP final decision notice by stating our intention 
that the vehicle conditioning procedure begin with the selection of 
the reverse direction. We also stated that, while it is possible 
that the activation of the backup lamps is a reasonable proxy for 
determining when reverse has been selected, it is not the only valid 
method. We believe that these clarifications on when the vehicle 
conditioning procedure ends are also useful for the purposes of 
today's final rule. Thus, we have adopted this language in S14.2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, the agency recognizes that current visibility systems 
response times vary considerably between manufacturers and even within 
each manufacturer. We further recognize that the aforementioned test 
procedure will not accommodate all the available rear visibility 
systems currently used by manufacturers. However, as noted by Honda in 
its comments, we believe that newer systems have been (and will be) 
developed to reduce initialization and response time. We further 
acknowledge the Alliance's concern that compelling the immediate 
compliance of all rear visibility systems with the response time 
requirements would significantly increase costs by forcing 
manufacturers to conduct expensive redesigns outside of the normal 
product cycle. Thus, as will be further discussed later in this 
document, we have adjusted the phase-in schedule in today's final rule 
to no longer require that manufacturers comply with the image response 
time requirement until the end of the 48-month statutory phase-in 
deadline.
    In addition to the aforementioned test condition, we also agree 
with Magna, Volkswagen, and the Alliance that large discrepancies in 
ambient room temperature may create unnecessary variation in response 
time testing. We agree with Magna's recommendation and believe that a 
temperature condition range from 15 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees 
Celsius most closely approximates the temperature environment and 
capabilities of the available testing facilities. Thus, today's final 
rule adopts the temperature condition range of between 15 and 25 
degrees Celsius (as measured from the interior of the vehicle) from the 
NCAP final decision notice to ensure test repeatability.
    Separately, we decline to specify a manual transmission gear 
position as suggested by the Alliance in the technical workshop. As the 
test conditions in S14.2 now specify that the compliance technician 
shall place the vehicle direction selector into reverse, there is no 
need to specify a gear position for manual transmissions because the 
conditions in S14.2 assume that the transmission condition cannot be in 
reverse prior to the beginning of the test.
    Finally, the agency has considered the Advocates' suggestion of 
requiring an interlock which would prohibit the vehicle from moving in 
reverse prior to the rearview image being active. The agency has 
particular concern with both the technical aspects of such a 
requirement as well its potential unintended consequences. As mentioned 
earlier in this document, the agency is particularly cautious that it 
does not wish to create additional, unintended safety risks. We 
acknowledge interlocks as a possible solution to the safety concern 
that drivers may begin backing maneuvers without the benefit of the 
rearview image. However, we are also cautious of

[[Page 19223]]

the possibility that such a requirement could lead to increased safety 
risks (such as when conducting three-point turns in traffic). Without 
additional research, the agency does not believe that it can thoroughly 
evaluate the economic costs, the safety benefits, and the potential 
safety risks of such a requirement at this time. Therefore, this final 
rule does not incorporate an interlock requirement.

i. Display Luminance

    In order to ensure adequate visibility for the driver of the test 
objects in the display under a variety of conditions, the agency 
suggested in the ANPRM that a minimum brightness requirement may be 
necessary. In response to the ANPRM, the agency received one comment 
from Gentex suggesting that a 500 cd/m\2\ would be appropriate. Based 
on this comment, the NPRM proposed to require that when tested in 
accordance with the proposed test procedure, the luminance of an 
interior visual display used to present the rearview image shall not be 
less than 500 cd/m\2\. While the display units that had been reviewed 
by the agency seemed to have adequate display brightness, the agency 
reasoned that it is necessary to propose a minimum brightness level in 
order to ensure that drivers can see the rearview image under all 
lighting conditions.
Comments
    The comments on the NPRM generally agreed that the 500 cd/m\2\ 
requirement is inappropriate and cited a number of concerns. First, the 
manufacturers stated that the 500 cd/m\2\ requirement is too bright for 
most driving situations. The Advocates supported the concerns of the 
manufacturers that the 500 cd/m\2\ requirement is set too high. Second, 
the manufacturers stated that simply regulating display brightness is 
not a practicable standard because there are many different factors 
(such as contrast ratio, color chromaticity, uniformity, reflectance, 
etc.) which contribute to the quality of the video display. Finally, 
both manufacturers and suppliers such as Panasonic and Brigade stated 
that display luminance must be driver-adjustable in order to be 
practicable in all real-world driving conditions.
    However, commenters suggested different approaches in setting a 
practicable standard. The Advocates suggested that the agency adopt SAE 
J1757 in place of the 500 cd/m\2\ requirement. Toyota's comments 
supported the Advocates' suggestion of SAE J1757, but also recommended, 
in the alternative, that the agency consider ISO 15008. On the other 
hand, comments from the Alliance assert that the requirements of FMVSS 
No. 101 would adequately regulate display luminance. Further, Ford 
stated in its comments that FMVSS No. 101 currently does not regulate 
video displays and would require changes to the regulatory text to 
apply in this situation.
    Finally, two commenters raised concerns regarding the proposed test 
procedure for display luminance. Global Automakers expressed concern 
that many of the parameters for the display luminance test have not 
been specified and requested that NHTSA specify parameters such as 
temperature, positioning of the measuring device, etc. Additionally, 
Panasonic requested in its comments that the testing procedure require 
an all-white screen test pattern.
Agency Response
    The agency continues to believe that the ability of a driver to 
view a display with a high-quality rearview image is important. 
However, the agency has elected not to include minimum display 
performance requirements in today's final rule without conducting 
additional research. After reviewing the comments on the NPRM, the 
agency believes that specifying objective and practicable requirements 
in this area of performance has many complex challenges and the agency 
is not aware of any performance requirements that can objectively and 
practicably address our concern.
    We note that while the commenters stated that the single value 500 
cd/m\2\ luminance requirement for a display performance will not be 
appropriate under the majority of ambient lighting conditions, the 
agency did not intend for rearview displays to achieve 500 cd/m\2\ 
under all driving conditions. The NPRM proposed that rearview displays 
achieve 500 cd/m\2\ under the conditions specified in the test 
procedures and did not seek to preclude manufacturers from providing 
drivers the means with which to adjust the display luminance. However, 
the agency agrees with the commenters that display luminance alone does 
not provide a complete evaluation of the screen's ability to provide 
the driver with a rear image suitable for detecting objects such as 
children behind the vehicle. For instance a display that provides a 
very bright image, but does not provide adequate contrast, will not 
provide an image where an object within the field of view is 
discernible. Similarly, two screens with identical luminance and 
contrast can manage glare in ways that are different enough to provide 
significantly different display performance in various ambient 
conditions. Additionally, the agency notes that adopting only a 
luminance requirement may be unnecessarily restrictive of technologies 
such as transflective LCD technologies which can combine traditional 
backlighting and reflective lighting in order provide improved image 
quality in all ambient lighting conditions.
    In response to commenters' suggestion that that the agency instead 
consider adopting SAE J1757 or ISO 15008, NHTSA has reviewed these 
industry standards and has concluded that they are not suitable for 
incorporation in this rule. In regards to the Advocates suggestion that 
the agency adopt SAE J1757, the agency found that SAE J1757 provides 
detailed test processes for measuring various aspects that influence 
display performance. However, SAE J1757 does not provide threshold 
values for which the agency could use in setting minimum performance 
requirements. Thus, the agency does not believe SAE J1757 is 
appropriate for this rule. Similarly, the agency also considered ISO 
15008. While ISO 15008 offers minimum standards in relation to basic 
factors such as character legibility and color recognition, we agree 
with as the Alliance's comments which noted that the ISO industry 
standard is not intended to apply to displays which utilize video 
images such as those that will likely be used by the manufacturers to 
fulfill the requirements of today's final rule. ISO 15008 specifically 
states that it is not applicable to more complex display technologies 
such as head up displays, maps/navigation systems, and rearview 
cameras. For these reasons, NHTSA believes that ISO 15008 is also 
inappropriate for incorporation into this rule.
    Separately, NHTSA has considered both the Alliance and Ford's 
comments regarding utilizing the illumination requirements of FMVSS No. 
101 to regulate display luminance. For the reasons mentioned above 
regarding the complexity of the factors that determine display 
performance, the agency no longer believes that adopting only a 
luminance requirement will adequately ensure display performance. Thus, 
we decline to adopt the changes suggested by the Alliance and Ford 
which would utilize the performance tests from FMVSS No. 101 to 
regulate display performance in today's final rule.
    For the aforementioned reasons, the agency concludes today that we 
are not aware of any performance requirements that can objectively and 
practicably address our concern regarding the importance for the driver 
to have access

[[Page 19224]]

to a display which presents a high-quality rearview image. However, as 
the agency previously noted in the ANPRM, we are currently not aware of 
any display units installed by manufacturers which do not have adequate 
display performance under a majority of lighting conditions. Further, 
we recognize that the display performance aspect of the rear visibility 
system is readily apparent to a driver. Therefore, the agency expects 
vehicle manufacturers to continue to use capable displays in order to 
meet the expectations of their customers. Additionally, we note that 
our decision to not include minimum display performance requirements in 
today's final rule does not relieve the manufacturers from providing a 
reasonable level of display performance to ensure that their customers 
are able to successfully utilize this important safety feature.
    Finally, given the agency's decision not to include a minimum 
display performance requirement, we note that the concerns cited by 
Global Automakers and Panasonic in regards to the display luminance 
test procedure are no longer applicable to today's final rule.

j. Durability Testing

    In the ANRPM, the agency expressed concern regarding the 
reliability of rear visibility systems and how well such systems would 
perform under prolonged exposure to varying weather conditions. In 
response to the ANPRM, IIHS commented that current rear visibility 
systems have a wide range of quality in regards to weather resistance 
and recommended NHTSA pursue a minimum standard. On the other hand, 
Sony commented that cameras utilized in rear visibility systems are 
generally well protected against the elements. Considering these 
comments, the NRPM proposed to include vehicle level durability 
performance requirements which stated that the rear view system must 
still be able to display a compliant field of view after exposure to 
corrosion, humidity, and temperature tests. We reasoned that adopting 
existing requirements from our lighting standard (FMVSS No. 108) would 
be appropriate as exterior rear visibility system components are 
typically mounted similarly to vehicle lamps and are exposed to similar 
weather conditions.
Comments
    In general, the comments from manufacturers state that the 
durability requirements proposed in the NPRM were impracticable as they 
were proposed as vehicle standards. The Alliance noted that the 
durability tests that were modeled after FMVSS No. 108 are frequently 
performed at the component level when certified to FMVSS No. 108. 
Global Automakers further stated that conducting these tests at the 
vehicle level creates impracticable challenges. For example, its 
members are unaware of any facility that will be able to perform the 
temperature variation test on an item as large as a whole vehicle.
    On the other hand, comments from suppliers took varying positions. 
For example, Rosco agreed with the manufacturers that the standard 
should require a component test instead of a vehicle test because 
commercial vehicles have varying body styles and it would be 
impractical to test all the different vehicle configurations. Sony 
commented that its systems should not have any problem meeting the 
durability requirements as they were proposed in the NPRM. Using a 
different approach, Brigade recommended in its comments that the agency 
instead consider ISO standards and consider adopting the International 
Protection (dust/water resistance) rating of IP67 as a minimum standard 
for durability. More specifically, Bosch recommended that the agency 
consider the following standards: IEC 600068-2-1 Cold, IEC 60068-2-2 
Dry Heat, IEC 60068-2-11 Salt Mist, IEC 60068-2-14 Temperature Cycling, 
IEC 60068-2-27 Shock, IEC 60068-2-30 Damp Heat, IEC 60068-2-38 
Temperature and Humidity Cycling, IEC 60068-2-52 Salt Mist, ISO 16750-1 
General Environment, ISO 16750-2 Electric Loads, ISO 16750 Mechanical 
Loads, ISO 16750 Climatic Loads, and ISO 16750 Chemical Loads.
    Separately, Global Automakers requested clarification as to the 
test procedure and whether or not the durability tests would be 
performed in succession of each other.
Agency Response
    Based on the comments received, the agency agrees that the vehicle 
based durability requirements of the NPRM are impracticable and 
therefore has adjusted these requirements to apply only to external 
components. We believe that the requirements, as proposed in the NPRM, 
would impose unnecessary certification costs without providing 
significant additional safety benefits to the public beyond those 
achievable through component level testing. We continue to be concerned 
that component failure as a result of temperature variations, water 
incursion, or corrosion may pose a safety risk to pedestrians and 
believe that the tests proposed in the NPRM are the appropriate tests 
to address this safety concern. However, we believe that testing 
durability at a component level will provide substantially similar 
protections to the public. Thus, in lieu of a vehicle standard, the 
agency adopts the durability standards proposed in the NPRM for 
external components.\113\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \113\ In addition to adopting the proposed durability 
requirements from the NPRM on a component level, today's final rule 
also makes a technical adjustment to the proposed salt spray test 
procedure by using a newer version of the same ASTM salt spray 
testing procedure. The NPRM proposed to subject the vehicle to two 
24-hour cycles of salt spray testing in accordance with ASTM 
Standard B117-73 (with one hour of rest in between each cycle). This 
procedure proposed in the NPRM was the 1973 version of the ASTM 
``Standard Method of Salt Spray (Fog) Testing.'' While this ASTM 
standard does not establish threshold values for how long to expose 
a given test specimen to the salt spray testing, it does provide the 
methodology for conducting the test (e.g. specifications for the 
water used in the test, the test chamber, etc.). Since the agency 
has already incorporated by reference the 2003 version of this same 
standard (ASTM B117-03) in FMVSS No. 106, the agency decided to 
review both ASTM B117-73 and ASTM B117-03 to determine if it would 
be more appropriate to incorporate the newer standard in today's 
final rule. After conducting our review, we have concluded that 
there are no differences between the 2003 version and 1973 version 
of ASTM B117 that would lead to any significant changes in the 
results of the salt spray testing. While we discovered that in 
various instances (such as the water specifications and air supply 
specifications) the 2003 version of the test procedure is more 
specific (has a narrower tolerance range) than the 1973 version of 
the test, the agency does not believe this will significantly alter 
the test results or the burden of conducting the test. As in the 
NPRM, the test specimens would still be subjected to two 24-hour 
salt spray cycles with 1 hour of rest in between. Thus, as the 
agency believes that the 2003 version of the ASTM standard may be 
more readily available to the public and that the 2003 version does 
not contain any significant changes as compared to the 1973 version, 
the agency has decided to incorporate the 2003 version of ASTM B117 
into today's final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Component Level Testing
    The agency agrees with the Alliance that the durability 
requirements in the NPRM contain considerable technical challenges for 
a vehicle testing facility and that component level testing would be 
more appropriate. A test facility capable of evaluating a vehicle for 
the proposed temperature exposure test would require a vehicle sized 
chamber to maintain a 176 [deg]F temperature and within 5 minutes 
reduce the temperature to 32 [deg]F. The agency recognizes that 
although such test facilities exist on a much smaller scale for 
component level equipment such as vehicle lighting, a vehicle sized 
chamber capable of removing the internal energy (heat) stored within 
the mass of a vehicle and the air within the chamber would require 
considerably greater power. Similarly, the agency agrees that precise 
control of both temperature and humidity required by

[[Page 19225]]

the proposed humidity exposure test for a vehicle is not practical for 
testing the rear visibility system. Finally, the agency notes that a 
vehicle based corrosion test would require considerable quantities of 
salt solution and application nozzles. While such a test facility may 
be practical for the corrosion test, the agency believes that a 
component level test is capable of achieving similar evaluations with 
much less cost. Thus, today's final rule adopts the durability tests 
proposed in the NPRM, but instead applies these tests on a component 
level.
    We believe that individual components, which are exposed to the 
exterior of the vehicle, can be tested using an appropriate test 
fixture to simulate the critical areas of interest and potential 
failure. In order to accomplish this, the agency is specifying in the 
regulatory text that an environmental test fixture be used during 
compliance testing to simulate the body condition with respect to the 
external components' orientation and sealing. We believe that proper 
consideration of the orientation is an important factor in evaluating 
both a component's ability to dissipate heat as well as to manage 
water. Additionally we believe that a proper camera to body seal 
simulation is important in predicting the level of performance of the 
component's resistance to water intrusion when installed on the actual 
vehicle. We believe that considering such conditions, component level 
testing can achieve similar results as the vehicle tests presented in 
the NPRM.
Adoption of Temperature, Humidity, and Salt Tests From the NPRM
    The agency believes that the tests proposed in the NPRM are a 
reasonable proxy for ensuring that rear visibility systems will not be 
prone to failure when subjected to prolonged exposure to a range of 
typical environmental conditions, representative of those experienced 
in real-world vehicle use. The agency continues to believe that, 
because the exterior components of rear visibility systems will be 
mounted on a vehicle in locations which are exposed to similar weather 
conditions as vehicle lamps, tests based on the requirements of FMVSS 
No. 108 are appropriate. These durability tests from FMVSS No. 108 
appropriately ensure that manufacturers account for various unique 
design challenges that are present in automotive applications of the 
components that the agency anticipates will be used in rear visibility 
systems. The agency is concerned that without proper consideration and 
testing, a rear visibility system utilizing a camera may experience 
electronic component failure when exposed to thermal cycles. Likewise, 
the lens portion of the optical system of the camera may be prone to 
fogging or water intrusion as a result of exposure to humidity 
variations or road spray conditions and thereby not provide a visible 
rearview image.
    The temperature and humidity tests both account for the ability of 
rear visibility system exterior components to manage condensation. The 
agency believes that is one of the most likely areas of failure for 
rear visibility systems because designing exterior components with both 
the ability to manage potential condensation inside the component, 
during humidity and temperature variations, while also managing 
external water intrusion is a particularly difficult engineering 
challenge. The failure to manage either of these two water sources may 
damage the rear visibility system. Further, it is important that 
exterior components on a rear visibility system be designed to resist 
salt corrosion. Unlike equipment designed for other applications, 
equipment designed for application on a motor vehicle are exposed to a 
significant amount of salt during normal use as many vehicles subject 
to the requirements in today's final rule will be used on roads that 
have been treated with salt for cold weather conditions.
    To further ensure that the proposed tests in the NPRM are 
appropriate for application to rear visibility systems, the agency has 
evaluated several currently available rearview camera systems, on a 
component level, utilizing a procedure based on the durability tests 
proposed in the NPRM.\114\ As the agency anticipated, the majority of 
rearview camera systems it evaluated performed well. However, because 
these results were not consistent over the entire set of rearview 
camera systems evaluated, the agency questions whether all rear 
visibility systems used to fulfill the requirements of today's final 
rule will perform well when subjected to the aforementioned tests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \114\ Mazzae, E. N., Andrella, A. (2011). Rear Visibility System 
Durability Testing Applied to Model Year 2010-2012 Light Vehicles. 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Docket No. NHTSA-
2010-0162-0226.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We believe these types of system failures can create safety risks 
and are the likely modes of failure for rear visibility systems. 
Therefore, the agency believes that rear visibility systems should be 
designed to resist these typical ambient conditions. Thus, while the 
agency does not adopt the proposal in the NPRM to conduct these 
durability tests on a vehicle level, the agency believes that these 
tests continue to be important for ensuring the real-world reliability 
of these important safety systems and adopts these tests on a component 
level.
Consideration of Voluntary Industry Consensus Standards
    As required under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act, the agency examined standards from various standards organizations 
in order to ascertain if any voluntary industry consensus standards 
were suitable for inclusion in today's final rule. Similarly to the 
comments from Bosch and Brigade, we concluded that various aspects of 
certain ISO standards and the IP rating system address similar concerns 
that are covered by the durability tests adopted in today's final rule. 
However, we have not included those standards in today's final rule for 
several reasons.
    First, while we agree with Bosch that ISO 16750-1 General 
Environment, ISO 16750-2 Electric Loads, ISO 16750 Mechanical Loads, 
ISO 16750 Climatic Loads, or ISO 16750 Chemical Loads can be used to 
evaluate a rear visibility system's ability to resist environmental 
conditions, we decline to adopt them in their entirety because these 
standards cover performance requirements beyond those being considered 
by the agency. The aforementioned ISO standards are collections of 
various other voluntary industry standards which address many aspects 
of performance that are useful for a manufacturer designing a vehicle 
but not suitable for inclusion in a minimum safety standard. Beyond the 
safety concerns that we identified in the paragraphs above, the 
aforementioned ISO standards include aspects of performance such as 
vibration/shock load protection and chemical resistance. In addition to 
raising questions as to whether such additional requirements would be 
within the scope of notice of this rulemaking, these voluntary 
consensus standards cover aspects of performance where the agency does 
not anticipate frequent failure. For example, the vibration/shock load 
standard may be useful in evaluating the performance of other motor 
vehicle equipment, but does not seem to be as crucial for a rear 
visibility system where the agency anticipates manufacturers will use 
equipment with few (if any) vulnerable moving parts.\115\ Further, the 
agency does not anticipate rear visibility system components to fail 
due to an inability to resist chemicals as rear visibility components 
generally have a smaller

[[Page 19226]]

exterior surface than other exterior vehicle equipment and therefore 
have limited exposure to chemicals such as gasoline and windshield 
washer fluids. Additionally, these components will likely be designed 
and mounted so as to dissipate liquids in order to meet our humidity 
and salt spray performance standards. Thus, while the agency encourages 
manufacturers to design rear visibility systems to be as reliable as 
possible, the agency does not adopt any of the aforementioned ISO 
standards as they cover additional aspects of performance that are not 
suitable for inclusion in a minimum safety standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \115\ For this same reason, we are not adopting IEC 60068-2-27 
Shock.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Second, the agency considered the portions of the ISO standards 
which directly address temperature, humidity, and salt resistance. 
These portions of the ISO standards are IEC standards which have been 
designed to test the aforementioned aspects of performance. IEC 600068-
2-1 Cold, IEC 60068-2-2 Dry Heat, and IEC 60068-2-14 Temperature 
Cycling address the ability of the rear visibility system exterior 
component to resist significant temperature variations. IEC 60068-2-30 
Damp Heat and IEC 60068-2-38 Temperature and Humidity Cycling address 
the ability of those same components to manage water and dissipate 
condensation. Finally, IEC 60068-2-11 Salt Mist and IEC 60068-2-52 Salt 
Mist address the ability of those exterior components to resist 
corrosion due to prolonged exposure to salt. While many of these 
standards are suitable for manufacturer use in designing vehicles we 
conclude today that they are not suitable for incorporation into 
today's final rule.
    In regards to the temperature variation standards, IEC 600068-2-1 
Cold, IEC 60068-2-2 Dry Heat are not suitable for incorporation into 
today's rule because these standards merely establish a methodology for 
exposing a given component to hot and cold conditions but do not 
establish threshold values that the agency could use as a standard. 
Thus, the agency examined IEC 60068-2-14 Temperature Cycling which 
provides a test and the associated requirements to determine the 
ability of components to withstand rapid changes in ambient 
temperature. This standard is similar to the temperature test we have 
adopted in today's final rule except for one significant difference. 
Our proposed test requires that the sample be exposed to a high 
temperature and then transitioned to exposure at a low temperature 
within 5 minutes. IEC 60068-2-14 Temperature Cycling requires this 
transition of temperatures to take place within no more than 3 minutes. 
This rate of temperature change is significantly more severe than what 
we proposed, and more severe than we believe is necessary. During our 
tests of the exterior components of currently available rear visibility 
systems, we found that durability performance was not consistent among 
all the components tested.\116\ As the rear visibility systems selected 
by the agency represent the type and quality of rear visibility systems 
we expect manufacturers to be using to meet the requirements of today's 
rule, the agency is concerned that this significant increase in 
stringency of the temperature cycle test could impose a significantly 
greater burden than is necessary. Accordingly, without additional 
information regarding the possible benefits to be gained by this 
increased stringency, the agency does not believe it is appropriate to 
adopt a standard which requires the temperature variation between hot 
and cold to occur within 3 minutes at this time. Therefore, we have not 
included the requirements of IEC 60068-14 in this final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \116\ Mazzae, E. N., Andrella, A. (2011). Rear Visibility System 
Durability Testing Applied to Model Year 2010-2012 Light Vehicles, 
supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We also decline to adopt the two IEC standards which evaluate the 
resistance of a component to temperature cycling in a high humidity 
environment. We have not adopted IEC 60068-2-30 Damp Heat because it 
does not contain a temperature range at the freezing point of water. 
The agency believes that it is important for our humidity test to 
include a freezing temperature condition because many vehicles sold in 
the United States will be regularly exposed to these temperatures. It 
is important that manufacturers design rear visibility systems which 
properly manage condensation and its potential to freeze within the 
rear visibility system component. If such condensation is not properly 
managed, the agency is concerned that freezing condensation can create 
a part failure when rear visibility systems are exposed to such 
temperatures.
    On the other hand, IEC 60068-2-38 Temperature and Humidity Cycling 
does include a testing temperature below freezing. However, it contains 
a temperature range which is significantly greater than those proposed 
in the NPRM. IEC 60068-2-38 Temperature and Humidity Cycling requires 
that components be exposed to a high temperature of 65 [deg]C and a low 
temperature of -10 [deg]C. As the purpose of the temperature cycle is 
to test the ability of an exterior component to manage water 
condensation which forms as the temperature decreases, we do not 
believe such a large temperature range is necessary. The test included 
in today's final rule includes temperatures which simulate a hot and 
humid climate and then reduces that temperature to freezing. We believe 
that this temperature range is sufficient to create the conditions of 
water condensation on the exterior components being tested and the 
freezing of that condensation. The agency is not aware of any need to 
include in the humidity test temperature conditions as varied as those 
from IEC 60068-2-38 Temperature and Humidity Cycling as the agency will 
still test the ability of these components to resist significant 
temperature variations through the temperature cycling test. Further, 
as mentioned above in our discussion of IEC 60068-2-14 Temperature 
Cycling, the agency does not wish to introduce requirements in today's 
final rule that may be more stringent or costly than those proposed in 
the NPRM without any information demonstrating an increased safety 
benefit to the public. Therefore, we have not included IEC 60068-2-38 
in this final rule.
    In today's final rule, we also have not adopted IEC 60068-2-11 and 
IEC 60068-2-52, which relate to salt mist. In our review of IEC 60068-
2-11, we found that this test is designed primarily for the purpose of 
comparing the resistance to corrosion from salt mist of specimens of 
similar construction. Such a test seems to be for the purpose of 
ensuring that when a manufacturer is producing many copies of the same 
product, they all conform to the same quality standards. As this test 
is most useful as a quality/uniformity measurement, and not as a 
minimum performance standard, we have chosen not to use this test in 
this final rule.
    However, the second salt mist test (IEC 60068-2-52) is similar to 
our proposed test in many ways. As with our proposal, this test exposes 
the test sample to a salt mist within a high humidity environment using 
atomizers at an elevated temperature. The primary difference is that 
the IEC standard cycle (specifically the severity levels (3) through 
(6) which are applicable to automotive applications) expose the test 
sample to a salt mist for 2 hours, and then expose the sample to a high 
humidity climate for 22 hours. Our proposed test cycle subjects the 
sample to a salt mist for 24 hours, with a 1 hour rest period. However, 
in spite of the different durations of application for the salt mist, 
we believe that the tests are similar because continued exposure to a 
high humidity environment is the most

[[Page 19227]]

important condition that needs to be maintained during the test cycle. 
Maintaining conditions of high-humidity is crucial because after the 
application of the salt mist, increased humidity encourages corrosion. 
As this condition occurs in both tests, we do not anticipate that one 
test will be more or less stringent than the other.\117\ In spite of 
this similarity, today's final rule adopts the salt mist test proposed 
in the NPRM because it is a standard that industry has experience using 
for the purposes of certifying compliance with FMVSS No. 108 and 
because it also utilizes a voluntary industry consensus standard (from 
ASTM \118\). Therefore, we have chosen not to use the IEC standard 
60068-2-52 for the corrosion test of this final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \117\ The continued application of salt mist creates a high-
humidity condition. Therefore, while one test applies the salt mist 
for 2 hours and the other for 24 hours, both tests maintain a high 
humidity condition for 24 hours of each test cycle.
    \118\ As noted above, today's final rule utilizes the 2003 
version of the ASTM standard instead of the 1973 version because the 
agency has determined that there are no significant differences 
between these two versions of the standard and the agency believes 
that the 2003 version will be more readily accessible to the public.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Separately, we note that Brigade suggested IP67 as an appropriate 
minimum standard. The IP rating is a system which rates a component's 
resistance to solid and liquid substance intrusion. The first number 
following the IP letters is the solid substance intrusion rating and 
the second number is the liquid substance rating. We decline to adopt 
IP67 as a minimum standard because we are concerned that IP67 may be 
too stringent. The number 6 in IP67 prohibits any level of solid 
substance intrusion (including dust intrusion). We note that a level 5 
on the same IP rating scale would permit a small amount of dust 
intrusion. Dust is not one of the major failure modes that the agency 
has identified and the agency is concerned that establishing a solid 
substance intrusion standard of 6 may be overly stringent considering 
the fact that the agency is less concerned with dust intrusion than 
with the ability of the rear visibility system component to dissipate 
condensation. The agency is also concerned that the use of the standard 
of 7 for the liquid substance intrusion may be overly stringent. 
Establishing the liquid substance intrusion standard of 7 in IP67 would 
require that the component be immersed in water at a depth of up to 1 
meter for a duration of 30 minutes. To test the exterior component in 
this fashion, would not take into account the mounting angle/
orientation of the component (and possibly other design features) that 
can be used to dissipate water. Thus, to require an IP67 rating for 
rear visibility system exterior components may preclude certain water/
moisture management strategies and may be unnecessarily design 
restrictive without offering any significant additional protection to 
the public.
Clarification of Order of Testing
    In response to Global Automakers request for clarification as to 
the order of testing, we agree that the proposed test procedure in the 
NPRM did not describe the order in which the tests will be performed 
and when the rear visibility equipment will be evaluated for the field 
of view and image size requirements. Thus, we have amended the 
regulatory text to clarify that the field of view and image size 
performance requirements will be evaluated at the conclusion of each of 
the three durability tests.

k. Phase-In

    The K.T. Safety Act requires that regulations established by this 
rule prescribe a phase-in schedule which requires full compliance with 
this rule no later than 48 months after the issuance of today's final 
rule. The K.T. Safety Act further instructs NHTSA to consider 
prioritizing different vehicle types in the phase-in schedule based on 
data on the frequency by which different vehicle types are involved in 
backing incidents. In comments on the ANPRM, Honda and AIAM expressed 
concern over the feasibility of a 48-month phase-in schedule. They 
noted that depending on the requirements of the final rule, a 48-month 
phase-in schedule could require manufacturers to conduct expensive 
``off-cadence'' redesigns for their vehicles outside of the normal 
redesign schedule. Instead, these commenters suggested that a six year 
phase-in schedule would be reasonable.
    The NPRM declined to allow a six year phase-in schedule as the K.T. 
Safety Act requires a phase-in schedule which mandates full compliance 
by 48 months. However, in order to address the commenters' concerns, 
the NPRM proposed a ``rear-loaded'' phase-in schedule with a first year 
phase-in requirement that is lower than the number of vehicles already 
anticipated to be equipped with rear visibility systems. Specifically, 
we proposed a phase-in schedule which would have no requirements for 
the first year after publication of the final rule, require 10 percent 
in the second year, 40 percent in the third year, and full compliance 
at the end of the 48-month statutory period. The NPRM proposed to apply 
this same phase-in schedule separately to passenger cars and MPVs.
    To provide additional flexibility, the NPRM proposed to include 
limited carry-forward credits in order to enable manufacturers to count 
early compliance towards the phase-in targets. To accomplish this, the 
proposed regulatory text expanded the period during which manufacturers 
could count compliant vehicles for the second and third year targets of 
the phase-in period. For the second year phase-in target of 10 percent, 
the proposed text allowed manufacturers to count all vehicles produced 
between the publication of the final rule and the end of the second 
year. For the third year phase-in target of 40 percent, the proposed 
text allowed manufacturers to count all vehicles produced between the 
publication of the final rule and the end of the third year (as long as 
those vehicles had not been counted towards the second year's target). 
As the K.T. Safety Act requires full compliance with this regulation by 
the end of the 48-month period, the carry-forward credit system 
proposed in the NPRM did not allow for credits to be carried beyond the 
48-month deadline.
    Finally, we proposed to exclude limited line, small, and multistage 
manufacturers from the phase-in schedule and proposed to require that 
they be fully compliant by the end of the statutory phase-in period of 
48-months. The agency reasoned that small, limited line, and multistage 
manufacturers face unique circumstances which necessitate additional 
flexibility. We noted that these manufacturers have longer product 
cycles and lack the sufficient number of product lines in order to 
efficiently apply redesigns to only a portion of their fleet as 
contemplated by a phase-in schedule. Thus we proposed, as we have in 
previous rules that provided a phase-in, to afford these manufacturers 
additional flexibility.
Comments
    In response to the NPRM, the agency received comments from 
manufacturers generally expressing concern that the proposed phase-in 
schedule would require manufacturers to conduct expensive, ``off-
cadence'' redesigns of their vehicles. The Alliance noted that while 
many manufacturers are currently installing rear visibility systems on 
their vehicles, the majority of these systems are unable to meet the 
entire set of performance requirements proposed in the NPRM. In order 
to increase flexibility and ensure that the regulation remains 
practicable, the Alliance

[[Page 19228]]

comments (supported by many of the individual manufacturer comments) 
offered a number of suggestions.
    First, the Alliance comments suggested delaying all requirements 
other than the field of view requirements until the end of the 48-month 
phase-in period. Noting the additional supply constraints from the 
March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Alliance stated that 
enabling individual manufacturers to incorporate the additional 
rearview image performance requirements during the 48-month phase-in 
period would allow time for proper system design and validation. 
Second, the Alliance recommended combining the passenger and light 
truck fleets in order to maximize flexibility for meeting the phase-in 
targets. General Motors asserted that the NPRM offered no support for a 
separate phase-in schedule between passenger and light truck fleets. 
Conversely, Porsche requested that the phase-in schedule be completely 
eliminated.
    Finally, the Alliance also recommended that the agency adopt 
``carry forward'' credits in order to expedite the implementation of 
rear visibility systems. In addition, varying suggestions from 
individual manufacturers express different positions on whether or not 
the carry forward credits should be allowed for use against the 48-
month, 100% compliance deadline. For example, BMW specifically 
requested that carry forward credits be available for the final, 48-
month, 100% compliance deadline. Volkswagen recommended a slightly 
different scenario requesting the agency allow carry forward credits 
for the 48-month, 100% compliance deadline but eliminate those credits 
a year after the 48-month compliance deadline.
    Separately, the Alliance comments also requested that incomplete 
vehicles/multistage manufacturers be afforded an additional year beyond 
the normal phase in schedule. NTEA supported this concern by requesting 
that multistage manufacturers be given an additional year of phase-in 
time in order to have time to determine their compliance strategy after 
the OEMs have come into full compliance.
Agency Response
    The phase-in schedule established by today's rule, excluding small 
volume and multi-stage manufacturers, is as follows:
     0% of the vehicles manufactured before May 1, 2016;
     10% of the vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2016, 
and before May 1, 2017;
     40% of the vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2017, 
and before May 1, 2018; and
     100% of the vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018.
    The phase-in schedule proposed in the NPRM was based on an 
assumption that most of the current systems met the requirements of the 
rule or could be easily modified to comply with the requirements of the 
rule. Based on comments received, the agency has learned that many of 
the currently available systems are unable to comply with all of the 
additional requirements beyond those involving the required field of 
view without significant design modifications. As the agency wishes to 
maximize today's final rule safety benefits while avoiding imposing a 
significant additional cost burden on manufacturers beyond those 
anticipated in the NPRM, today's final rule delays the compliance date 
for all the performance requirements other than field of view until the 
end of the 48-month phase-in deadline mandated by the K.T. Safety 
Act.\119\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \119\ We note that, during this phase-in period, manufacturers 
will still have an incentive to design systems that meet the image 
size and image response time criteria in NCAP. As mentioned above, 
in order to be listed as a ``Recommended Advanced Technology 
Feature'' in NCAP, rearview video systems will need to meet field of 
view, image size, and image response time criteria that are similar 
to the requirements adopted in today's final rule. While the agency 
does not believe that it is practical to compel manufacturers to 
redesign their systems to meet all these requirements during the 
phase-in period, NCAP will still offer consumers comparative 
information on rearview video systems. NCAP will help consumers 
identify rearview video systems that meet these additional criteria 
and are better able to assist drivers in avoiding backover crashes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In spite of this adjustment to the phase-in schedule, the agency 
does not expect a negative impact on the estimated safety benefits of 
today's final rule. While the image size, response time, deactivation, 
durability and linger time requirements are important in addressing 
various safety concerns, the delay of these requirements in the phase-
in is not expected to significantly affect the estimated effectiveness 
because the research conducted by NHTSA utilized systems which were not 
designed to conform to all of the requirements of today's final rule. 
In addition, the agency believes that this adjustment to the phase-in 
schedule can lead to a net increase in safety benefits as it will 
enable manufacturers to focus, in the near term, their resources on 
installing rear visibility systems on more vehicles instead of 
utilizing those resources to conform existing rear visibility systems 
to all the requirements of this rule by the second year phase-in 
target.
    However, the agency continues to believe that the requirements 
beyond those pertaining to the field of view in today's final rule are 
important to ensure the long-term quality of this important safety 
equipment. The agency notes that rear visibility systems have currently 
been designed to be equipped on vehicles as a cost-option or for more 
expensive vehicles. As rear visibility systems are required under 
today's final rule to be equipped to all vehicles with a GVWR less than 
10,000 pounds, the agency is concerned with ensuring that these rear 
visibility systems will meet minimum performance standards even when 
installed on relatively low-cost vehicles in the future. The agency 
believes that, while relieving the manufacturers of the burden of 
complying with the requirements of today's rule beyond the field of 
view requirements during the phase-in period can lead to a net increase 
in safety benefits in the near term, all the requirements in today's 
final rule are important towards ensuring the long-term quality of rear 
visibility systems.
    As mentioned above, the comments on the NPRM demonstrate that the 
costs of bringing existing rear visibility systems into compliance with 
all of the requirements of today's final rule (by the second year 
phase-in target) are significantly greater than the agency anticipated. 
In the NPRM we proposed a ``rear-loaded'' phase-in period which 
required a second year phase-in target of 10% and a third year target 
of 40% in order to afford the manufacturers a significant amount of 
flexibility. However, we acknowledge the comments from the 
manufacturers and agree that to require rear visibility systems which 
currently do not comply with all of the requirements in today's final 
rule to become compliant by the second year phase-in target would 
compel manufacturers to conduct significant redesigns outside of the 
normal product cycle. In the NPRM, we considered the proposed phase-in 
schedule to be appropriate as we assumed that most rear visibility 
systems currently available on the market would be able to meet the 
requirements proposed in the NPRM. In addition, the costs/benefits 
analysis in the NPRM was also based on this assumption as it did not 
consider the costs of redesigning rear visibility systems within the 
phase-in period. In order to avoid significantly increasing the costs 
of this rule, today's final rule does not require that manufacturers 
conduct costly product redesigns by the second year phase-in target. As

[[Page 19229]]

suggested by the Alliance, allowing additional flexibility for 
manufacturers to incorporate the additional design changes at any point 
before the 48 month deadline will allow time for proper system design 
and validation.
    However, today's final rule adopts the phase-in schedule proposed 
in the NPRM in regards to the field of view requirements. We believe 
that the field of view requirements are the most appropriate 
requirements to phase-in according to the schedule adopted by today's 
final rule because they are crucial requirements that enable drivers to 
see and avoid striking pedestrians behind the vehicle. In addition, 
testing conducted by the agency indicates that the vast majority of 
rear visibility systems are currently able to meet the field of view 
requirements of today's final rule. Thus, by only requiring that the 
field of view requirements be phased-in according to the schedule in 
today's final rule, we believe that most, if not all, current systems 
can now be used to meet the phase-in requirements as anticipated in the 
NPRM.
    Further, today's final rule no longer requires separate phase-in 
schedules for passenger cars and MPVs, trucks, low-speed vehicles, and 
buses. As we have noted on many occasions, while the crash data suggest 
that larger vehicles such as MPVs represent a larger portion of the 
fatalities, they do not represent a disproportionate amount of backover 
crashes in general. Thus, the agency agrees with the comments from 
General Motors that a separate phase-in schedule would not support the 
safety goals of this rulemaking. As noted in the regulatory impact 
analysis, manufacturers have installed a greater portion of their rear 
visibility systems on larger vehicles such as trucks and MPVs.\120\ As 
the agency anticipates that manufacturers will continue this pattern 
with a combined fleet phase-in schedule, the agency has added the 
flexibility for manufacturers to combine their passenger car and light 
truck fleets for the purposes of phase-in compliance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \120\ See Final Regulatory Impact Analysis, available in the 
docket number referenced at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Considering this additional flexibility, the agency no longer 
believes the carry forward credit system is necessary as suggested by 
the Alliance, BMW, and Volkswagen for the following reasons. First, we 
note that the carry-forward credit systems proposed by BMW and 
Volkswagen cannot be implemented as they extend beyond the 48-month 
``full compliance'' deadline required by the K.T. Safety Act. As we 
interpret the K.T. Safety Act, allowing carry-forward credits to be 
used towards the final, 100% compliance, year of the phase-in would not 
constitute ``full compliance'' within the meaning of the Act. Second, 
as the agency has adjusted the phase-in schedule to afford additional 
flexibility through minimizing the requirements that must be met at the 
beginning of the schedule, we no longer believe it is necessary to 
utilize a carry-forward credit system to further alleviate the burden 
of compliance. We also note that adopting a carry-forward credit system 
will instead increase the compliance burden on manufacturers by 
requiring manufacturers to file additional compliance documents with 
the agency while still being unable to afford the additional 
flexibility beyond the 48-month statutory deadline as requested by the 
commenters. Therefore, today's final rule has not included a carry-
forward credit system with the phase-in schedule.
    Today's final rule also adopts the exclusions proposed in the NPRM 
for limited line, small, and multistage manufacturers from the phase-in 
schedule and simply requires full compliance at the 48-month statutory 
deadline. The agency continues to reason that small, limited line, and 
multistage manufactures face unique circumstances, mentioned above, 
which support the need for additional flexibility. However, due to the 
restrictions in the K.T. Safety Act, we cannot accommodate the request 
of multistage manufacturers to be afforded a phase-in schedule which 
allows an extension beyond the 48-month deadline.
    Finally, we note that the phase-in schedule has been adjusted so 
that the first year of the schedule begins on May 1, 2014 (with the 
first compliance year as between May 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017). The 
agency believes that adjustment in the phase-in schedule is appropriate 
in order to ensure that manufacturers would have the amount of time 
that Congress authorized the agency to allot for the phase-in period 
under the K.T. Safety Act.

l. Remaining Issues

    Finally, the agency received other comments on the NPRM on the 
following additional issues. We have examined these comments and 
respond to them in turn in the paragraphs that follow.
Executive Order 13045
    In addition to their comments mentioned above, KidsAndCars.org 
noted that Executive Order 13045 requires that federal agencies 
evaluate the environmental health or safety effects that an 
economically significant rule may have on children and explain why the 
approach selected is preferable to other potentially effective and 
reasonably feasible alternatives. KidsAndCars.org stated in its 
comments that this rulemaking is economically significant and that 
NHTSA is required, under Executive Order 13045, to provide the 
aforementioned analysis.
Agency Response
    As explained below in section V, Regulatory Analyses, we agree that 
Executive Order 13045 is applicable to this rulemaking. Pursuant to the 
criteria set forth in Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, we agree with 
KidsAndCars.org that this rulemaking is economically significant and is 
subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13045. As we have noted 
below in section V, the health and safety effects of this rule on 
children are a central concern of this rulemaking. Thus, the 
environmental health and safety effects, and the potential alternatives 
to this rule are extensively discussed directly in this preamble and 
the accompanying regulatory impact analysis for today's final rule.
Driver Education and Driver Distraction
    As noted in above is section II, Background and Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking, many individual commenters stated that driver education 
would contribute significantly towards reducing backover crashes. In 
addition, KidsAndCars.org also commented that driver education will be 
crucial in ensuring that drivers are trained and able to effectively 
utilize the required rear visibility systems. In a related issue, 
individual commenters also expressed concern that drivers will be 
distracted by rearview images and focus on the displays instead of 
being aware of their surroundings.
Agency Response
    While we noted in the NPRM that driver education may lead to 
greater effectiveness statistics for rear visibility systems, NHTSA 
currently has not yet established a new driver education campaign to 
complement this rulemaking. In the K.T. Safety Act, Congress was 
concerned with the expansion of the required field of view behind the 
vehicle in order to avoid backover crashes. Thus, this rulemaking 
focused on the possible rearview countermeasures and how they could be 
used to expand the rear field of view as contemplated by Congress. In 
general, the agency is aware of the benefit of driver education when it 
comes to all

[[Page 19230]]

crash avoidance technologies. We will continue to use www.safercar.gov 
to support these efforts and carefully consider if any additional 
action is warranted.
    In addition, as described in our earlier discussion on linger time, 
deactivation, and backing event, NHTSA shares the individual 
commenters' concern that drivers may be distracted by the rearview 
images from being aware of their surroundings. Thus, we have aimed in 
today's final rule to ensure that the rearview image is presented to 
the driver only under appropriate circumstances by including 
restrictions on when the image shall be displayed in relation to the 
defined backing event. While the agency notes that the rearview image 
will divert some driver attention away from the rearview mirrors or 
windows during a backing maneuver, we believe that the increased field 
of view afforded to the driver through the rear visibility system will, 
on the whole, increase the driver's awareness of his or her 
surroundings.
Color/Real-time Rear Visibility Systems
    While the NPRM did not propose specifications to require that rear 
visibility systems display the rearview image in color or in real time, 
two suppliers commented that such requirements would be appropriate. 
Sony commented that, as third party research indicates that humans 
possess a greater ability to recognize objects in a color environment, 
a color camera and display system should be required. In addition, 
Rosco was concerned that when a rearview video system is integrated 
with various other vehicle systems, there may be a time delay in which 
could affect the rear visibility system's effectiveness.
Agency Response
    While the agency acknowledges the concerns from Sony and Rosco, the 
agency is unaware of any rearview video systems, currently offered on 
the market, which do not offer a rearview that is both in color and in 
real-time. We note that, as rearview displays are items of automotive 
equipment that drivers will frequently interact with, we believe it is 
reasonable to expect the decision making process of manufacturers to be 
significantly influenced by consumer expectations. Thus, we decline to 
establish requirements in today's final rule requiring that rear 
visibility systems use color displays as suggested by Sony. To do as 
Sony suggests would unnecessarily complicate today's rule and the cost 
of compliance as manufacturers would be required to certify not only 
that their vehicles have color displays--but color displays that meet a 
certain minimum standard. We also decline to set a ``real-time video'' 
performance standard as requested by Rosco for similar reasons. To 
require manufacturers meet to real-time video performance standards 
would increase the cost of compliance, while providing no demonstrated 
increase in safety benefit from the rear visibility systems that we 
expect manufacturers to be utilizing to meet the requirements of 
today's rule.
Multistage Vehicles
    In its comments, NTEA requested that testing be conducted more on 
the component level in order to afford the multistage manufacturers 
maximum flexibility in utilizing different cameras to meet the 
standard. Further, NTEA requested confirmation that the rear visibility 
camera would not have to be mounted behind temporarily attached 
equipment such as a salt or sand spreader which is temporarily mounted 
to the trailer hitch of a pickup truck.
Agency Response
    The agency appreciates the concerns of the multistage 
manufacturers. We recognize that many of the requirements of today's 
final rule are dependent on the presentation of the test objects behind 
the vehicle, through a rear visibility system, in relation to the 
vehicle and the driver. Since the goals of today's final rule include 
the driver's ability to view pedestrians within the backing path of his 
or her vehicle, it is necessary to establish performance requirements 
in relation to attributes such as the driver eye point and the vehicle 
rear bumper. Thus, the test procedure adopted by today's final rule 
inevitably must incorporate various tests on the vehicle level. 
However, we note that the test procedure in today's final rule 
prescribes the method by which the agency will conduct compliance 
testing. Thus, it does not preclude manufacturers (such as multistage 
vehicle manufacturers) from conducting testing in a different manner as 
long as the rear visibility system will meet all the requirements of 
today's rule when installed and tested, by the agency, according to the 
test procedure described in today's rule.
    Finally, we also acknowledge NTEA's concerns that temporary 
equipment installed by the vehicle owner, such as salt or sand 
spreaders, may be restricted by today's final rule. However, we note 
that today's rule does not apply to trailers and other temporary 
equipment that can be installed by the vehicle owner.
Persons With Disabilities
    The K.T. Safety Act directs the agency not only to issue a 
regulation to reduce death and injury resulting from backover crashes, 
but to particularly examine crashes involving small children and 
disabled persons. As described above, the agency examined the FARS and 
NASS-GES databases to determine whether or not persons with 
disabilities are frequently involved in backover crashes. While the 
agency identified various cases in the databases between the years 2007 
and 2010 that involved persons with disabilities, the data do not 
indicate that such persons were frequently involved in backover 
crashes.
    The FARS and NASS-GES data (from 2007-2010) show one case that 
involves a vision-impaired individual that resulted in a fatality and 
two cases involving persons in a wheelchair that resulted in injuries. 
As we noted above, the agency found other cases where the individual 
was specified as ``impaired'' (1 in FARS, and 11 in NASS-GES). For 
these cases, the agency is not able to identify whether the person was 
``impaired'' due to a physical disability (temporary or otherwise) or 
due to some other cause. However, even considering all the 
aforementioned cases, the data suggests (on the whole) that persons 
with disabilities are infrequently involved in backover crashes.
    While the data do not suggest persons with disabilities are 
frequently involved with backover cases, the agency believes that such 
persons will benefit from the requirements of today's final rule in a 
similar way to other pedestrians. While persons using wheelchairs would 
generally be lower in height when compared to a standing adult, such 
persons would unlikely be shorter than the 18-month-old toddler (upon 
which agency has based the 0.8-meter height of its test objects). As 
described in our discussion of our test objects and field of view 
requirements in today's final rule, using the 0.8 meter test object 
located beyond the width of the vehicle (at 5 feet to either side of 
the vehicle longitudinal centerline) enables the agency to ensure that 
the 18-month-old toddler will be covered by the required rear 
visibility system as he/she moves towards the vehicle's longitudinal 
centerline. The same is true for persons in wheelchairs. As it is 
highly unlikely that a person in a wheelchair would be shorter than the 
0.8 meter test object, the agency believes that such persons would be 
visible in all the relevant areas behind the vehicle (through the 
required rear visibility system) that are associated with the highest 
crash risk.

[[Page 19231]]

    Similarly, the agency believes that persons with other forms of 
disabilities will also be visible to a driver using a rear visibility 
system meeting the requirements of today's final rule. Persons using 
crutches or other similar mobility aides will also generally be taller 
than the 0.8-meter test object as these individuals are generally 
standing when using their mobility aid. Further, vision- or hearing-
impaired persons will also be readily visible to the driver using a 
rear visibility system meeting the requirements of today's final rule 
as such a person would also be typically standing when located in the 
relevant areas behind the vehicle.
    Further, the available data indicate that persons with disabilities 
would not move into the vehicle blind zone at a speed that is 
significantly greater or different than the test speed used by NHTSA in 
the 2012 research that used a moving obstacle presentation (2.3 
mph).\121\ In the agency's review of the available research, the agency 
found various studies that state that persons using wheelchairs 
generally travel at a speed between 0.96 and 2.42 mph.\122\ As the 
agency does not anticipate that persons with other types of 
disabilities may move into the vehicle's blind zone at a speed greater 
than persons using wheelchairs, the agency believes that drivers will 
be able to use the rear visibility system required by today's final 
rule to avoid backover crashes with persons with disabilities. Thus, 
while the data do not indicate that persons with disabilities are 
frequently involved in backover crashes, the agency believes that the 
requirements in today's final rule will nonetheless enable drivers to 
detect and to avoid potential backover crashes that may involve a 
person with a disability.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \121\ See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0253, Rearview Video System 
Use by Drivers of a Sedan in an Unexpected Obstacle Scenario.
    \122\ See generally Tolerico, M.L., Ding, D., Cooper, R.A., 
Spaeth, D.M., Fitzgerald, S.G., Cooper, R., Kelleher, A., Boninger, 
M.L., (2007) Assessing mobility characteristics and activity levels 
of manual wheelchair users, J Rehabil Res Dev. 2007;44(4):561-71; 
Kaminski, B.A, (2004) Application of a Commercial Datalogger to 
Electric Powered and Manual Wheelchairs of Children, available at 
http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-11292004-115314/unrestricted/Thesis2.pdf; Sonenblum, S.E., Sprigle, S., Lopez, R.A., 
(2012) Manual Wheelchair Use: Bouts of Mobility in Everyday Life, 
available at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/rerp/2012/753165/; 
Cooper, R.A., Thorman, T., Cooper, R., Dvorznak, M.J., Fitzgerald, 
S.G., Ammer W., Guo, S.F., Ph.D., Boninger, M.L., (2002) Driving 
Characteristics of Electric-Powered Wheelchair Users: How Far, Fast, 
and Often Do People Drive?, available at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~cga/
behavior/epw-datalogger.pdf; Ikeda, H., Mihoshi A., Nomura T., 
Ishibashi T., (2003) Comparison of Electric and Manual Wheelchairs 
Using an Electrocardiogram, available at http://www.union-services.com/aevs/449-452.pdf.
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Additional Research From IIHS and UMTRI
    While the NCAP request for comments and final decision notices are 
a separate agency action that is independent from the actions taken in 
today's final rule, various commenters to the NCAP request for comments 
mentioned additional research that may contain information relevant to 
this rulemaking action. The first comment was from the Alliance 
regarding the potential contents of a forthcoming study by the 
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The 
second comment was from IIHS on data that they obtained through their 
Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).
Forthcoming UMTRI Study
    The Alliance and General Motors both commented to the NCAP request 
for comments that a forthcoming study from the University of Michigan 
Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) examining the effectiveness 
of rear video systems is likely to be available soon. They asserted 
that, if the study shows that rearview video systems are already having 
a significant impact on reducing crashes, then it may not be necessary 
to include various performance requirements for these systems.
    As we stated in the NCAP final decision notice, the agency is 
encouraged that organizations continue to devote resources to 
researching backover crashes. Unfortunately, this additional 
information from the referenced UMTRI study is currently unavailable 
for analysis. However, the agency believes that the information 
resulting from this study is unlikely to alter the agency's regulatory 
decisions in today's final rule. As the commenters suggest, the results 
of the study may indicate that rearview video systems are already 
having an effect on reducing backover crashes.
    However, even if the results of the study are as the commenters 
anticipate, the agency believes that minimum performance requirements 
are still appropriate and necessary in order to ensure that the rear 
visibility systems installed on vehicles in compliance with FMVSS No. 
111 are systems that can assist drivers in avoiding backover crashes. 
While the currently available systems being equipped on vehicles may 
already help drivers avoid backover crashes, the available data still 
indicate that the performance requirements adopted in today's final 
rule address various conditions under which a poor-performing system 
could lead to increased backover safety risk. As we noted above in our 
discussion of SCI cases with rearview video systems, it is important 
that future systems be designed to show the rearview image to the 
driver as early as possible so that the driver will be able to see any 
pedestrian behind the vehicle and avoid the crash.
    Further, we believe that minimum performance requirements are 
necessary--even if current systems meet those requirements. Without 
performance requirements established in an FMVSS, NHTSA would not be 
able to ensure that future systems would continue to be effective in 
helping drivers avoid backover crashes.
IIHS Highway Loss Data Institute Information
    Separately, IIHS commented in response to the NCAP request for 
comments that they support NHTSA's efforts to promote countermeasures 
that assist drivers in avoiding backover crashes. They also noted that 
the available data show that rearview video systems greatly increase 
visibility behind the vehicle and should create a measureable effect on 
reducing backing crashes. However, they stated that the preliminary 
data that they have gathered from their Highway Loss Data Institute 
(HLDI), to date, provide little evidence at this time that these 
systems are preventing crashes and reducing loss at a measurable 
rate.\123\ We have reviewed the available information from HLDI that 
shows a lack of a statistical difference in one instance and a 
statistically significant increase in claims in another instance.\124\ 
However, due to the preliminary nature and the directional 
inconsistencies in the data, we do not believe that this information 
should lead the agency to conclude differently on the effectiveness of 
the available technologies considered in this document.
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    \123\ This apparent inconsistency between the cited substantial 
increase in rear visibility and the lack of reduction in real world 
insurance data claims may be associated with a few potential 
factors. First, there is a limited amount of insurance data due to 
these systems being relatively new. Second, these crashes are a 
relatively small proportion of the overall vehicle claims. Finally, 
the study considers data beyond backover crash data. This comparison 
may contain confounding factors that do not reduce the utility of 
this information for the purposes of IIHS, but it does not contain 
information specific enough for make conclusions about rearview 
video systems for the purposes of this analysis.
    \124\ Bulletin Vol. 28, No. 13: December 2011 and Bulletin Vol. 
29, No. 7: April 2012
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In their HLDI study, IIHS compared insurance claim frequencies for 
various categories such as physical damage to the at-fault vehicle 
(collision coverage)

[[Page 19232]]

and physical damage to a struck vehicle or property (property damage 
liability coverage). This study focused on select Mazda and Mercedes-
Benz vehicle models with and without rearview video systems. In 
general, they stated that, for these models, they did not observe 
statistically significant reductions in claim frequencies and in some 
cases found that cars with cameras had increased claims.\125\ For 
example, in their analysis of crash data for Mercedes-Benz vehicles (a 
more robust data set than the analysis of the Mazda vehicles \126\) 
with and without rearview video systems, IIHS did not find a 
statistically significant difference in any of the claim frequencies 
(which may be partially attributable to the data's wide confidence 
interval). In addition, the authors of the study of Mercedes-Benz 
vehicles noted that the transmission status was unknown (i.e., whether 
the vehicle was in reverse or not). Thus, for those vehicles, all crash 
types were considered--including those for which rearview video systems 
cannot be reasonably expected to prevent.\127\
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    \125\ For Mazda vehicles ``the only significant effect on claim 
frequency was a paradoxical increase in collision claims. There was 
also a decrease in high-severity claims for bodily injury, 
suggesting a reduction in collisions with nonoccupants.'' For 
Mercedes vehicles there were no statistically significant changes in 
any of the five insurance coverage types.
    \126\ Mercedes vehicles had four times as many insured vehicle 
years in the database as Mazda vehicles.
    \127\ A more detailed discussion of these studies is available 
in the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis--available in the docket 
referenced at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency understands that the types of crashes contemplated by 
Congress in the K.T. Safety Act (backover crashes) occur much less 
frequently than all property damage crashes. This makes it more 
difficult to find statistical significance using the Highway Loss Data 
Institute methodology. As IIHS stated in their comments, this data is 
still preliminary data. Further, this data is not designed to isolate 
the effect of rearview video systems on the specific type of crashes 
that we are addressing in this document--backover crashes. Thus, when 
considering these studies as well as the other available studies 
completed by NHTSA and other organizations, including all the 
limitations within the methodologies, the data continue to show that 
the installation of rear visibility systems meeting the requirements of 
today's final rule will decrease the risk of pedestrian backover 
crashes. However, with more data, the HLDI methodology may be valuable 
in the future for examining the overall effect of rearview video 
systems.

m. Effective Date

    Section 30111(d) of title 49, United States Code, provides that a 
Federal motor vehicle safety standard may not become effective before 
the 180th day after the standard is prescribed or later than one year 
after it is prescribed except when a different effective date is, for 
good cause shown, in the public interest. Pursuant to the K.T. Safety 
Act (requiring that the agency establish a phase-in schedule with a 
full compliance date no later than 48 months after this final rule is 
issued), today's final rule requires compliance in accordance with a 
phase-in schedule. This schedule establishes May 1, 2016 as the first 
compliance date with full compliance being required by May 1, 2018. For 
the reasons mentioned in our discussion of the phase-in, above, the 
agency believes that there is good cause and it is in the public 
interest to use the aforementioned phase-in schedule. The agency 
believes that the phase-in schedule contained in today's final rule 
affords the manufacturers an appropriate amount of time to meet the 
phase-in production targets and achieve full compliance by May 1, 2018.

IV. Estimated Costs and Benefits

    Based on the data from FARS, NASS-GES, and NiTS, NHTSA estimates 
that backing crashes result in 410 fatalities and 42,000 injuries 
annually. Of these backing crashes, backover crashes (which involve a 
vehicle striking a non-occupant of the vehicle) contribute to an 
estimated 267 fatalities and about 15,000 injuries \128\ annually. 
However, backover crashes involving vehicles with a GVWR of under 
10,000 pounds account for an estimated 210 fatalities and 15,000 
injuries annually.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \128\ Due to rounding, injuries for light vehicles and all 
vehicles are estimated to be 15,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

a. System Effectiveness

    As we mentioned in the NPRM, three factors must be present for a 
rear visibility system to avoid a backover crash and thereby provide a 
safety or other benefit. We have designated these factors 
FA, FS, and FDR. In the agency's 
estimates regarding the effectiveness of the countermeasure required by 
today's final rule, we combine all three of these factors in order to 
determine the impact that countermeasures meeting the requirements of 
today's final rule will have in preventing backover crashes.
Defining Factors FA, FS, and FDR
    The first factor is designated as factor FA. This factor 
examines whether or not the crash is one that is ``avoidable'' through 
the use of the device. In this factor, the pedestrian must be within 
the target range (i.e., design range) for the sensor, or the viewable 
area of the camera or mirror. In other words, the details and geometric 
parameters of the specific crash scenario must be such that (assuming 
perfect system function and driver use) the crash would be avoidable. 
In summary, factor FA separates the avoidable crash 
scenarios from the unavoidable crash scenarios.
    The second factor is designated as factor FS. This 
factor assesses whether or not the system will detect the presence of a 
pedestrian behind the vehicle and output the appropriate visual display 
or otherwise warn the driver. This factor assumes that the pedestrian 
is within the system's design range and that the driver will react 
appropriately to the warning. In other words, this factor asks whether 
or not the device will successfully detect the pedestrian that is 
located within the range that the device is designed to detect. Thus, 
this factor assumes that the crash is an avoidable crash in factor 
FA and assumes that the driver will react in the appropriate 
manner to avoid the backover crash.
    Finally, the third factor is designated as FDR. This 
factor examines whether or not (given that the crash is avoidable in 
FA, and that the system has detected the pedestrian in 
FS) the driver will be able to successfully use the 
technology in order to avoid the backover crash. In this factor, the 
driver must both perceive the information presented by the rear 
visibility system and respond appropriately before impact with the 
pedestrian. Thus, this factor evaluates the ability of drivers to use 
the rear visibility system that has detected a pedestrian in an 
avoidable crash situation.
Estimating FA, FS, and FDR and Total 
Rear Visibility System Effectiveness
    As the rear visibility systems under today's final rule are 
required to display an image of the area behind the vehicle to the 
driver, such systems will convey information to the driver regarding 
obstacles behind the vehicle (that are within its design detection 
range) 100% of the time. Thus, for the purposes of estimating the 
effectiveness of the rear visibility systems required under today's 
final rule, FS is 100% and the relevant factors for 
discussion, are FA and FDR.

[[Page 19233]]

    In order to determine FA, the agency conducted a study 
that reviewed 50 SCI cases that were available at the time of the 
study. The purpose of this study was to analyze whether or not the 
specific crash occurred at a location that is within the zone that a 
given countermeasure was designed to detect.\129\ In other words, the 
study sought to identify the crashes in the 50 SCI cases studied that 
would have been avoidable by the driver--assuming an ideal (or perfect) 
driver response. This factor takes into consideration the fact that, 
even when a rear visibility system warns the driver regarding a 
potential backover crash and the driver reacts appropriately to the 
warning, the physics and geometric parameters of the particular 
situation may not allow for the backover crash to be avoided. In order 
to determine whether or not each SCI case would have been avoidable 
using a rear visibility system, the study considered factors such as 
the movement of the pedestrian (e.g., direction, speed), whether or not 
the pedestrian would have been visible to the driver using the rear 
visibility system, the general trajectory and speed of the vehicle etc. 
The study found that between 76% and 90% of the cases reviewed would 
have been avoidable cases using rear visibility systems meeting the 
requirements in today's final rule.\130\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \129\ For further information, please reference the Final 
Regulatory Impact Analysis prepared in support of this final rule, 
available in the docket number referenced at the beginning of this 
document.
    \130\ The agency decided to use the SCI cases to perform this 
analysis due to the level of detail required in order to analyze 
whether or not the totality of the facts would suggest that a case 
could have been avoided with a rear visibility system. The agency is 
not aware of any other source of information that could provide the 
same level of detail about crashes that would enable the agency 
determine circumstances of the crash such as the general trajectory/
speed of both the pedestrian and the backing vehicle. The agency 
believes it is reasonable to use the results of this study to 
estimate FA in this instance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In order to determine FDR, the agency performed research 
by presenting an unexpected test object (with an image of a child 
pedestrian affixed to the test object) to drivers that were executing 
backing maneuvers. These studies examined the likelihood that the 
driver will react to the information from the rear visibility system 
sufficiently so as to avoid the crash by controlling test conditions 
such that the test object would always be presented in a location and 
in a manner where the rear visibility system would detect the test 
object (and inform the driver of the presence of the object). The 
agency conducted four separate studies (designated in this discussion 
as Studies 1, 2, 3, 4a, and 4b) since 2008 to examine the ability of 
drivers to avoid backover crashes when utilizing rear visibility 
systems.\131\ Through these studies, the agency observed drivers (with 
various demographic characteristics) utilizing different rear 
visibility systems and different vehicle types when subject to 
different test object presentation methods. By carefully selecting the 
test parameters to be changed from one iteration of the study to the 
next, the agency is able to use these data to arrive at a reasonable 
estimate of drivers' ability to utilize rear visibility systems 
required under today's rule while also ensuring that potential 
variations (such as driver and vehicle type) in real-world 
circumstances will not have an unanticipated impact on the agency's 
estimates. The general parameters and results of the four studies are 
presented in the table below:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \131\ See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0253, Rearview Video System 
Use by Drivers of a Sedan in an Unexpected Obstacle Scenario.

                                            Table 12--NHTSA Research on Driver Use of Rear Visibility Systems
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Study 1 (2008) 2007
                                                   Honda Odyssey & Study 2
                                                      (2009) 2007 Honda
                                                           Odyssey
                                                     Study 3 (2010) 2007
                                                        Honda Odyssey
                                                    Study 4a (2012) 2012
                                                        Nissan Altima
                                                    Study 4b (2012) 2012
                                                        Nissan Altima
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Obstacle:                                              Centered op-Up
                                                       Centered Pop-Up
                                                       Centered Pop-Up
                                                      Laterally Moving
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Test Setting:                                            Laboratory
                                                           Daycare
                                                         Laboratory
                                                         Laboratory
                                                     Garage/Parking Lot
                                                     Garage/Parking Lot
                                                     Garage/Parking Lot
                                                     Garage/Parking Lot
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            N    % Crashes            N    % Crashes            N    % Crashes            N    % Crashes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baseline (No System)............................           12          100           36          100                                     56           91
RV, 7.8'', in-dash..............................           12           58           36           61
RV 4.25'', in-dash..............................  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........           36           67           51           69
RV, 3.5'' in-mirror.............................           10           30           23           52
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This table shows the basic information for each of the four studies 
conducted by the agency. In this table, ``N'' represents the number of 
participants for each test condition and the percentage of those 
participants that crashed is shown. For the baseline condition, no 
rearview video system was installed on the vehicle, while the size and 
location of the display is shown in each of the other conditions.
    By observing drivers under these various conditions, the agency 
believes that a reasonable estimate for FDR can be obtained 
for the rear visibility systems required by today's final rule. In each 
of the agency's tests, participants performed backing maneuvers either 
with or without a rear visibility system. Regardless of the specific 
conditions used in the particular test (e.g., driver/vehicle type, 
obstacle presentation, etc.), drivers with rearview video systems were 
consistently able to avoid crashes with the test object at a rate that 
is statistically greater than drivers without any rear visibility 
system.
    As described above, the original research referenced in the NPRM 
(Studies 1 and 2 conducted in 2008 and 2009, respectively) utilized a 
Honda Odyssey as the test vehicle and tested the ability of drivers to 
avoid a pop-up test object located in the vehicle's blind zone. This 
research included participants age 25 to 55 and a mixture of male and 
female drivers. The research revealed that, while drivers were 
universally unable to avoid crashes with the test object without a rear 
visibility system, the drivers were able to avoid a crash with the pop-
up test object approximately 55% of the time with a rearview video 
system.\132\ While the research referenced in the NPRM

[[Page 19234]]

accurately and effectively isolated the incremental benefit of the 
rearview video system over a uniform set of conditions (e.g., vehicle 
model, obstacle presentation, and driver demographics), NHTSA 
considered other research in conjunction with the information 
referenced in the NPRM in order to enhance the robustness of our 
analysis for the purposes of today's final rule. Although this 
additional research refines the agency's estimates of the potential 
benefits of the rear visibility systems required under today's final 
rule, the additional research does not alter the agency's decision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \132\ 75 FR 76228.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In considering the subsequent research, the agency aimed to 
investigate whether or not a different test setting, a different 
vehicle type, different driver demographics, and a different obstacle 
presentation method would lead to an unanticipated effect on the 
agency's previous estimates on drivers' ability to utilize rear 
visibility systems to avoid a backover crash. In other words, the 
agency examined the available data from the additional studies to 
determine if there was any evidence that the aforementioned factors 
could lead to a statistically different test result.
    In order to examine whether or not drivers would utilize rear 
visibility systems differently in a setting where drivers may expect 
the presence of children, the agency examined data from an additional 
study that was conducted in a day care center parking lot (Study 3 
conducted in 2010).\133\ This study showed that, given the same 
vehicle, driver demographic, and obstacle presentation parameters, the 
new setting (the day care center) did not influence drivers to avoid or 
crash with the test object at a statistically different rate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \133\ See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0001, Drivers' Use of 
Rearview Video and Sensor-Based Backing Aid Systems in a Non-
Laboratory Setting.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency also conducted additional studies in 2012 (Studies 4a 
and 4b) where the agency utilized an additional vehicle model (the 
Nissan Altima) and expanded driver demographics (including a more 
balanced distribution of male and female participants \134\ and 
including participants under age 25 and over age 55). The 2012 research 
contained two parts in order to enable the agency to examine whether or 
not the test object presentation method would lead to statistically 
different driver performance results. As discussed above, the two 
studies did not indicate that the expanded driver and vehicle types or 
the different obstacle presentation method caused drivers to avoid a 
crash with the test object at a statistically different rate.\135\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \134\ While the agency sought to more evenly balance the gender 
distribution in its 2012 study, the information from NHTSA's 
previous studies indicate that male and female drivers did not crash 
with the pop-up test object behind the vehicle at statistically 
different rates. In Studies 1-3, male drivers crashed 77.8% of the 
tests whereas female drivers crashed 75.5% of the tests.
    \135\ See Section II, g. Additional 2012 Research, supra. As we 
noted previously, testing additional participants may have enabled 
the agency to observe statistically different results for some of 
these new test parameters (e.g., age). The raw results of the data 
in Study 4 (See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0253) show that drivers 
older than 55 and younger than 25 did crash with the unexpected test 
object more frequently than drivers between age 25 and 55. (We did 
not test different age groups in Studies 1-3 because we did not 
anticipate that there would be a difference across age groups). 
However, the data do not show that these differences were 
statistically significant. While testing additional participants may 
have revealed a statistically significant difference, the agency was 
unable to identify more participants (that are familiar with the 
vehicle model and the technology) for this study.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As the additional research examined by the agency since the NPRM 
did not indicate that the additional test parameters created 
statistically different results, the agency decided to incorporate the 
new data as additional data points in calculating its estimate of 
FDR. In other words, to perform an analysis of the driver's 
ability to avoid a backover crash using rear visibility systems 
required by today's final rule, the participants from Studies 3, 4a, 
and 4b were combined with NHTSA's previous studies (Studies 1 and 2) as 
additional test participants in order to expand the total number of 
participants examined. The agency believes this is a reasonable 
approach as the agency was not able to find a statistical difference 
between these test participants and increasing the number of 
participants considered in NHTSA's analysis will increase the overall 
robustness of NHTSA's estimates regarding the ability of drivers to 
avoid a backover crash when using the rear visibility systems required 
by today's final rule.\136\ When considering the data from these 
studies, the agency estimates that FDR is 37%. In other 
words, 37% of the time, drivers would be able to avoid a backover crash 
when utilizing a rear visibility system meeting the requirements of 
today's final rule when the crash is an avoidable crash (under 
FA).\137\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \136\ While we acknowledge that the tests conducted in Study 4b 
used a different object presentation method, we believe that these 
results can be included and analyzed in conjunction with Studies 1, 
2, 3, and 4a. As we described above in our discussion of the 
research, we designed the moving test object presentation method 
with test parameters that were as close to the pop-up test object 
presentation method as possible (e.g., exposure time of the object 
in the rearview image). We reasoned that this approach would enable 
both presentation methods to mimic the same types of crash scenarios 
that we believe are the most prevalent (i.e., scenarios where the 
driver reacts to the unexpected presence of a pedestrian behind the 
vehicle). As these methods were designed with similar parameters, 
were design to mimic the same crash scenarios, and did not yield a 
statistically significant difference, we believe it's appropriate to 
incorporate Study 4b in our analysis of FDR. We note that 
some participants were able to avoid a collision with the moving 
test object in the baseline (no rearview video system) condition in 
Study 4b. We have taken this baseline condition into account when 
calculating the effectiveness of rearview video systems in the 
moving test object presentation method.
    \137\ All the available data continue to indicate that rear 
visibility systems meeting the requirements of today's final rule 
(e.g., rearview video systems) would be the best technology that can 
address the backover safety concern that Congress directed the 
agency to address. Separate from our aforementioned concern that 
Study 4b lacks a clear method for isolating the incremental effect 
of the rearview video system, the agency is also not aware of any 
method of incorporating the data from Study 4b (in analyzing 
FDR) that would produce a total system effectiveness for 
rearview video systems that would be inferior to any of the other 
available countermeasure technologies. Thus, while the agency 
believes that it is not appropriate to incorporate the data from 
Study 4b into its analysis of FDR, the agency notes that 
it is unaware of any method of incorporating the data from Study 4b 
that would provide a rational basis for the agency to alter its 
decisions in today's final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the basis of the agency's research into these three factors, the 
agency believes that the rear visibility systems required under today's 
final rule will have a predicted effectiveness of between 28 and 33 
percent. Below is a table showing the aforementioned effectiveness 
factors and the estimated system effectiveness for each of the 
regulatory alternatives considered during the rulemaking process. As 
mentioned above, these effectiveness estimates differ from the NPRM 
because the agency has incorporated the new information obtained from 
the tests performed at the day care center parking lot and NHTSA's 
subsequent study that utilized a Nissan Altima along with the pop-up 
test object presentation.\138\ While the NPRM was unable to include 
these updated numbers for the tests performed at the day care center 
(Study 3) in its analysis, the NPRM referenced this material and NHTSA 
included it in the NPRM docket.\139\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \138\ See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0001.
    \139\ See Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0162-0001.
    \140\ In NHTSA's sensor system tests, one vehicle model was able 
to detect our plastic test object placed in the test location 100% 
of the time. The other detected the same test object in the same 
location approximately 40% of the time. By combining the number of 
trials for both vehicle models and the number of positive alerts for 
both vehicle models the agency roughly estimates that sensor systems 
will detect objects within their designed detection zone 84% of the 
time. However, the agency believes that this figure may represent 
the sensor system's performance under idealized conditions. As the 
primary purpose of these studies were to determine the ability of 
the driver to react to the output information from either a sensor 
or rearview video system, the test object was not designed with 
properties such as motion and material in mind. As discussed in 
Section III, c. Alternative Countermeasures, supra, various 
technical limitations on the sensors ability to detect objects 
within its design detection range suggest that the ability of the 
sensor system to detect a child may not be similar to the sensor 
system's ability to detect a plastic test object.

[[Page 19235]]



                                    Table 13--Estimated System Effectiveness
                                                  [In percents]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Final
                     System                       effectiveness         FA              FS              FDR
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
180[deg] RV....................................               33              90             100              37
130[deg] RV....................................               28              76             100              37
Ultrasonic.....................................                8              49        * * * 84              18
Radar..........................................                8              54        * * * 84              18
Rear-Mounted Convex Mirrors....................                0            33 *             100           0 **
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* FA for mirrors is taken from a separate source due to lack of inclusion in the SCI case review that generated
  FA for cameras and sensors.
** FDR for mirrors is taken from a small sample size of 20 tests. It is 0% because throughout testing, drivers
  did not take advantage of either cross-view or lookdown mirrors to avoid the obstacle in the test.
* * * FS for sensors was obtained from the agency's tests regarding the driver's ability to utilize sensor
  systems to avoid a backover crash with a test object. Thus, this figure involves the sensors' ability to
  detect the test object under idealized conditions.\140\

b. Benefits

    On the basis of its application of the predicted effectiveness of 
the rear visibility systems that can be utilized to satisfy the 
requirements of today's final rule to the annual target population of 
210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries, the agency estimates that the 
requirements of today's final rule will save between 13 and 15 lives 
per year and prevent between 1,125 and 1,332 injuries per year.\141\ 
These updated estimates are lower than the estimates in the NPRM for a 
few reasons. First, the updated estimates account for the increased 
market penetration of rearview video systems since the publication of 
the NPRM \142\ and the projected market penetration as a result of 
voluntary adoption of rear visibility systems through the year 2018. 
Second, the estimates take into account new data that has revised the 
size of the target population. Finally, the estimates have been revised 
based on new information available regarding the effectiveness of the 
rear visibility systems required under today's final rule. While this 
new information refines the agency's ability to better assess the costs 
and benefits of the countermeasure required in today's rule, the 
available data continue to indicate that rear visibility systems 
meeting the requirements of today's final rule are the most effective 
countermeasure for addressing the backover crashes contemplated by 
Congress in the K.T. Safety Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \141\ In order to compare the annual costs of equipping the 
fleet to the benefits that can be realized from the equipped fleet, 
these estimates reflect the number of lives that can be saved 
annually once the full fleet of vehicles operating have been 
equipped with the rear visibility systems required by today's final 
rule. We anticipate that the number of vehicles with this safety 
equipment will rise steadily and be in all vehicles operated on the 
public roads by 2054. It also does not count any benefits that would 
be attributable to systems that the manufacturers are already 
installing on their vehicles prior to the first full year of 
mandatory full compliance (2018).
    \142\ While Model Year (MY) 2014 sales are not yet complete, the 
agency has information on the models that will offer rearview video 
systems as standard or optional equipment. When comparing this 
information to the sales projections and historic sales trends for 
each model, we are able to determine that approximately 57% of 
MY2014 vehicles will have rearview video systems. Further, if the 
sales trend after MY2014 continues to follow the historic sales 
trend, we anticipate that 73% of MY2018 vehicles will have rearview 
video systems. We discuss this issue further in the sections that 
follow and additional details about our projections are in the Final 
Regulatory Impact Analysis available in the docket referenced at the 
beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As further discussed in the sections that follow, the agency is 
aware that rear visibility systems are being adopted in the market. 
This adoption by the industry of rear visibility systems is estimated 
and accounted for in our analysis of the costs and benefits of today's 
final rule. However, the safety benefits that would be realized from 
these rear visibility systems are not included as benefits in this 
section because they do not result from the vehicles that are not 
projected to have rear visibility systems by 2018.
    For the purposes of our analysis, we have assumed that the benefit 
of installing a rear visibility system is the same for each vehicle. 
Therefore, the voluntary adoption of rear visibility systems due to 
market factors create a proportional decline in both costs and benefits 
attributable to today's rule. As the agency is not aware of any data to 
indicate whether the vehicles voluntarily installed with rear 
visibility systems have a higher or lower risk of being involved in a 
backover crash, we have used this assumption in our analysis.

            Table 14--Estimated Annual Quantifiable Benefits
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Benefits
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fatalities Reduced......................  13 to 15.
Injuries Reduced........................  1,125 to 1,332.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Beyond avoiding injuries and fatalities, the agency expects that 
benefits will accrue over the life of the vehicle as a result of 
avoiding property damage. While damage to rear visibility systems are a 
potential source of additional repair cost as a result of rear-end 
collisions, the agency calculates that these costs will be offset by 
the benefits realized by vehicle owners as a result of avoiding 
property damage only backing collisions. Across the 3 and 7 percent 
discount level (over the lifetime of the vehicle), the agency expects 
the net impact of rear visibility systems on property damage only 
crashes is a net benefit which ranges between $10 and $13 per 
vehicle.\143\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \143\ See Final Regulatory Impact Analysis, available in the 
docket number referenced at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to these quantifiable benefits, the agency continues to 
believe that today's final rule will contribute significantly toward 
achieving many unquantifiable benefits. NHTSA believes that a simple 
quantitative analysis is not sufficient when evaluating the benefits of 
this rulemaking. We note that Executive Order 12866 (reaffirmed by 
Executive Order 13563) refers expressly to considerations of equity by 
directing that agencies, ``choosing among alternative regulatory 
approaches . . . should select those approaches that maximize net 
benefits (including . . . equity).'' Executive Order 13563 explicitly 
states not only that each agency shall ``use the best available 
techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and 
costs as

[[Page 19236]]

accurately as possible,'' but also that each agency ``may consider (and 
discuss qualitatively) values that are difficult or impossible to 
quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive 
impacts.''
    These values--especially equity, fairness, and distributive 
impacts--are directly relevant to this final rule. There are strong 
reasons, grounded in unquantifiable considerations, to take action to 
prevent the deaths and injuries at issue here, including:
    (1) We believe it is important to reduce the risk that drivers will 
be the direct cause of the death or injury of a person, particularly a 
small child at one's own place of residence or that of a relative or 
close friend. In many cases, parents are responsible for the deaths of 
their own children. We continue to believe that avoiding that horrible 
outcome is a significant benefit which is not fully or adequately 
captured in the traditional measure of the value of a statistical life. 
Of course, any death of a young child is a tragedy, but we believe that 
this traditional measure also does not adequately account for the value 
of reducing the risk that parents will be responsible for the death of 
or serious injury to their own children.
    (2) We noted that 37 percent of the deaths and 7 percent of the 
injuries at issue here involve young children (under the age of five), 
and there is an important social interest in avoiding such deaths and 
injuries. While the agency has used the Department's standard monetary 
figure for the value of a statistical life, we acknowledge that various 
studies have placed the value of a statistical life at a higher value 
and the value of a statistical life of a child even higher. However, we 
note that the literature is in a state of development.
    (3) The victims of the relevant crashes here include not only 
children but also people with disabilities and the elderly. Especially 
in the context at issue, such people lack relevant control over the 
situation and are not in a good position to protect themselves. There 
are strong considerations, rooted in fairness and equity, to reduce 
these risks that they face.
    (4) The focus of the benefits analysis is on the prevention of 
deaths and injuries, and the avoidance of property damage, but the 
requirements of the rule will also provide a range of additional 
benefits. Drivers will benefit in numerous ways from increases in rear 
visibility. For example, parking will be simplified, especially in 
congestion. The evolution of the automobile market attests to these 
benefits. The agency believes that apart from the monetized values, 
increase in ease and convenience will provide significant, but not yet 
quantifiable, benefits to drivers.

c. Costs

    The agency estimates that to equip each vehicle with a rear 
visibility system compliant with the requirements of today's final rule 
will cost between $132 and $142 per vehicle. For vehicles already 
equipped with a suitable display, the incremental cost of equipping the 
vehicle with a compliant rear visibility system is estimated to be $43 
to $45. Given these per unit costs (and the current state of the 
market), the agency estimates that the cost to equip the entire fleet 
of new passenger vehicles sold annually (estimated at 16.0 million 
vehicles) with rear visibility systems meeting the requirements of 
today's final rule is between $546 and $620 million.\144\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \144\ These costs do not include costs attributable to systems 
that will already be installed by vehicle manufacturers prior to 
2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These cost estimates differ from those in the NPRM, where the 
agency estimated that rearview video systems would cost between $159 
and $203 for each vehicle not already equipped with a suitable display 
unit, $58 for each vehicle that was already equipped with a suitable 
display unit, and a total fleet cost of $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion 
annually.\145\ In response to these estimates, the agency received 
comments from both equipment manufacturers and advocacy groups stating 
that the agency had overestimated the potential costs of these 
systems.\146\ Specifically, both the Advocates and the American Academy 
of Pediatrics commented that the agency did not sufficiently estimate 
the potential reduction of costs for rearview video systems over time 
as manufacturers of such products gain experience in producing these 
systems. In addition, Sony and Magna commented that they expect that 
manufacturers will realize significant cost reductions through 
increased production levels and refinements in the manufacturing 
process. Further, Sony commented that voluntary adoption of this 
technology will conservatively double by 2013--even absent a final 
rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \145\ 75 FR 76236. This estimate assumed a market adoption rate 
of 19.8% (across the fleet) prior to a final rule. $1.9 to $2.7 
billion is the range of costs for rearview video systems only (does 
not include the cost range for sensor systems).
    \146\ Conversely, we note that the agency did not receive any 
substantial comment stating that the agency had overestimated the 
per unit price. We did receive comments from vehicle manufacturers 
that our phase-in schedule would create additional design/
development costs for the industry and we believe we have 
accommodated these concerns through adjusting the phase-in 
requirements in today's final rule. However, those comments did not 
address the long-term per-unit costs that we use to calculate the 
costs of today's rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thus, in response to these comments, the agency reexamined the cost 
estimates of the NPRM in order to obtain more accurate estimates 
regarding the annual costs of today's final rule. As the first year 
requiring full compliance with today's final rule is 2018, the agency 
has used the following information in order to more accurately predict 
the costs of today's rule in 2018.
    First, the agency conducted a teardown analyses of representative 
rearview video systems which afforded updated cost estimates for 
individual rearview video systems that would meet the requirements of 
today's rule.\147\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \147\ See Final Regulatory Impact Analysis, available in the 
docket number referenced at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Second, the agency also took a closer look at the rate of voluntary 
adoption of rear visibility systems through 2018. While the agency 
agrees with Sony that (even absent today's rule) rear visibility 
systems will experience increased market penetration, we did not rely 
on Sony's assertion that rearview video systems will increase two-fold 
by 2013. Instead, the agency took a different approach of basing its 
projections of the voluntary adoption of rearview video systems in 2018 
on a combination of the data on the historical adoption trend for these 
systems and the agency's information on the vehicle models that will 
have rearview video systems in Model Year (MY) 2014. While MY2014 sales 
are not yet complete, we have information on the models that will offer 
these systems (either as standard or optional equipment). When we 
combine this information with the sales projections for each model, we 
are able to determine that approximately 57% of MY2014 vehicles will 
have rearview video systems. Further, if the sales trend after MY2014 
continues to follow the historic sales trend, we anticipate that 73% of 
MY2018 vehicles will have rearview video systems.\148\ We discuss this 
issue further in the sections that follow.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \148\ See id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, the agency also agrees with the commenters that 
manufacturers will realize cost reductions through increased 
familiarity with the manufacturing process and through economies of 
scale. However, because the agency did not receive any detailed 
information from the commenters regarding the extent of these 
particular possible cost savings, the agency has applied a general 
learning factor (based

[[Page 19237]]

on historic data on the adoption of automotive safety technologies 
\149\) to the information received from the teardown study. Using a 
constant learning factor (a 7% cost savings) over each cumulative 
doubling of production, the agency obtained what it believes is a more 
accurate estimate of the potential cost of rearview video systems in 
2018.\150\ Using this learning analysis method, the agency predicts 
that the per-unit costs in 2018 will be between $132 and $142 per 
vehicle (and $43-$45 per vehicle for vehicles that already have a 
suitable screen).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \149\ The agency examined the historical data for the following 
automotive safety technologies: driver air bags, antilock braking 
systems, manual lap/shoulder belts, adjustable head restraints, dual 
master brake cylinders. See ``Preliminary Regulatory Impact 
Analysis, Corporate Average Fuel Economy for MY2017-MY2025 Passenger 
Cars and Light Trucks'', November 2011, Docket No. 2010-0131-0167, 
(discussing our analysis of the learning curve discussion on pages 
577-591).
    \150\ For additional information regarding the method that the 
agency used to calculate the cost savings over time due to learning, 
please reference the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis, available in 
the docket number referenced at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Using the aforementioned information (the new teardown study, the 
new adoption rate, and the new per-unit cost after learning), the 
agency estimates that the cost to equip the entire fleet of new 
passenger vehicles sold annually with rear visibility systems meeting 
the requirements of today's final rule is between $546 and $620 
million.

                 Table 15--estimated installation costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Costs (2010 $)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full system installation per vehicle...  $132 to $142.
Camera-only installation per vehicle...  $43 to $45.
Total Fleet............................  $546 M to $620 M.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While the agency agrees with the commenters and conducted the 
aforementioned analyses to refine its estimates of the actual costs of 
today's final rule, the agency notes that these updated cost estimates 
do not affect any of the agency decisions regarding the requirements in 
today's final rule. The agency continues to believe that the 
requirements we've adopted in today's final rule are the only effective 
way of fulfilling the requirements of the K.T. Safety Act.
    Separately, in estimating the above costs, the agency did not 
include ultrasonic or other rear sensor systems as part of the analyses 
because the systems examined by NHTSA are not able to meet the 
requirements of today's final rule. However, the agency did conduct a 
teardown analyses for ultrasonic sensor systems and found these systems 
to be much more expensive than the agency had previously estimated. In 
the NPRM, the estimated costs of various rear object sensor systems 
ranged between $52 and $92 to equip each vehicle. After conducting the 
teardown analyses and applying the learning factor, the agency now 
estimates that to equip each vehicle with ultrasonic systems would cost 
between $79 and $138.

d. Market Adoption Rate

    In order to estimate the likely benefits and costs of this 
regulation, NHTSA has considered different methods for establishing a 
baseline market adoption rate of rear visibility systems against which 
to measure the effects of the regulation. Applying OMB Circular A-4, a 
baseline(s) would reflect ``what the world would look like'' in the 
absence of regulation.
    Towards this end, the above sections measure the impact of 
equipping the vehicles that are not projected to have rear visibility 
systems by 2018. Thus, we have projected (based on the available data) 
what the market adoption of rear visibility systems would be by 2018 
(the 100% compliance date in the phase-in schedule established by 
today's final rule). By comparing this projection to 100% compliance in 
2018, our analysis shows the costs and benefits that are attributable 
to those remaining vehicles. The data indicate that many vehicle models 
are already being sold with rear visibility systems as standard or 
optional equipment. As described above, NHTSA projects that 73% of new 
light-duty vehicles will be sold with rear visibility systems by 2018.
    However, calculating the costs and benefits based only on these 
vehicles that would not have rear visibility systems by 2018 does not 
account for other potential events that could affect market adoption. 
It is possible that some of the projected 73% market adoption in 2018 
is attributable to events that are beyond ``pure market forces'' (e.g., 
the K.T. Safety Act and the rulemaking process). However, it is 
difficult to know with any certainty how many of these vehicles would 
be so equipped in the absence of this regulation, the rulemaking 
process, and the K.T. Safety Act. In other words, how much of the 
increase in the popularity of these systems is driven purely by market 
forces and how much is the result of manufacturers acting in 
anticipation of the regulation taking effect?
    For several reasons NHTSA believes market forces are responsible 
for the majority of the recent increase in the number of rearview video 
systems projected to be installed by MY 2018. Typically, the market 
forces that lead to a surge in popularity of a technology are a decline 
in their cost and/or an increase in consumer demand. There is strong 
evidence that both of these factors are affecting the adoption of 
cameras in light-duty vehicles. For example, the increasing popularity 
of other features that require screens (such as navigation and 
infotainment systems) has significantly reduced the incremental cost of 
adding a video system since the screen is already there. It is also 
likely that consumers are beginning to better appreciate the value of 
such systems for safety reasons as well as their value to assist 
parking.
    At the same time, NHTSA cannot rule out the possibility that some 
of the recent increase in projected future installations is due to 
manufacturers' anticipation of the regulation and would not be in the 
fleet were it not for the statutory requirement that NHTSA issue a 
regulation. If manufacturers believe that a regulation is imminent and 
they are in the process of redesigning models, they may add rear video 
systems now because it is usually less costly to integrate new features 
at the vehicle-redesign stage than at other times.
    However, there is reason to believe that this factor has been less 
important than market forces. For example, some manufacturers have 
begun offering rear video systems in models before the normal re-design 
cycle. Such sales growth is more likely reflective of market forces 
rather than regulation. In addition, at least one major car 
manufacturer, Honda, had already in 2013 made rear-visibility cameras a 
standard feature in 94% of its vehicles. The fact that automakers have 
greatly increased the output of cars with rearview video systems 
suggests the demand for those devices is largely consumer driven and 
perhaps bound up with consumers' desire for the convenience of such 
cameras as well as their safety benefits. Additional evidence that 
adoption is market driven is that sales of aftermarket rear visibility 
kits that customers themselves install, despite being under no possible 
regulatory mandate to do so, are projected by industry sources to grow 
very rapidly.\151\ The advertising of rearview video systems as a 
safety feature by several manufacturers has

[[Page 19238]]

likely fueled further consumer demand for these devices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \151\ CE Outlook, ``Backup Camera Sales to Near Double,'' 2/21/
2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, we believe that now that rear visibility cameras have 
become a common safety device on many models, manufacturers may have 
some concern that they face potential tort liability if they market 
models that do not offer this safety feature. Finally, we note that 
once a manufacturer has designed a vehicle model to include a rearview 
video system, regardless of the motivation for that action, a variety 
of considerations, including consumer expectations and product 
liability, will preclude the possibility of the manufacturer's ceasing 
to offer cameras in future model years vehicles. In other words, those 
are costs that the industry have already incorporated into their 
production plans and thus are not affected by this rulemaking action.
    Given the above, NHTSA finds substantial evidence that market 
forces are driving the increase in the rate of adoption of rearview 
video systems, but is unable to determine with any reasonable certainty 
the precise extent to which the prospect of regulation might also be a 
factor. Thus, in order to reflect this uncertainty about how to 
attribute the existing market adoption rate, we have conducted an 
additional analysis that presents a range of both the benefits and 
costs of this rule. In developing this analysis we are attempting to 
estimate the range of adoption of rear visibility systems which might 
have occurred by 2018 if Congress had not passed the K.T. Safety Act, 
NHTSA did not initiate a rulemaking on this subject, and no final rule 
were adopted.
    At the top-end of this range, we adopt the assumption that all 
current and projected installations are due purely to market forces and 
that none are due to the rule. We recognize that this is a strong 
assumption, but we think that in light of the evidence discussed above 
it is a reasonable one on which to base an upper bound of the range of 
projected adoption levels. As noted above, our latest projection shows 
that 73% of the new vehicle fleet will be equipped with rearview video 
systems by 2018. We based this calculation on data on the historical 
adoption trend of these systems and the agency's information on which 
vehicle models will have these systems in MY2014. Using both historical 
sales data and the information the agency has about the vehicle models 
that will have rearview video systems as standard or optional equipment 
in 2014, NHTSA is able to estimate that approximately 57% of MY2014 
vehicles will have rearview video systems. Then, if the sales trend 
after MY2014 continues to follow the historic sales trend established 
up to and including 2012 and we assume that this is all attributable to 
market forces (and none to the rule), we obtain a 73% baseline MY2018 
rate of adoption rearview video systems.\152\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \152\ Further details on the agency's estimates are available in 
the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis. This document can be found in 
the docket cited at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At the low-end of the range, we adopt the assumption that half of 
the increase in the market adoption trend as a result of the data from 
MY2014 is attributable to ``pure market forces'' and half is not. In 
other words, we make the following two assumptions for this low end 
estimate: (1) That the MY2008 to MY2012 historic adoption trend 
represents ``pure market forces'' and that this trend would have 
continued apart from the K.T. Safety Act and NHTSA's rulemaking process 
in response to the Act; and (2) that half of the difference between 
that continuation of the MY2008 to MY2012 trend (through to 2018) and 
our top end of the range estimate (that produces a 73% market adoption 
rate in 2018) represents a shift in ``pure market forces.'' We believe 
these assumptions are appropriate as a low end of the range estimate 
because we believe it is unlikely that none of the projected increase 
in installation for MY2014 (and beyond) are due to market forces (i.e., 
that all is due to anticipation of the rule). However, in the case of 
this rulemaking, the available information does not enable the agency 
to make any reliable determinations as to what portion of the market 
adoption (between our top and low end estimates) is due to ``pure 
market forces'' as opposed to other factors. As discussed above, we 
think the evidence supports ascribing a substantial majority of the 
increased adoption rate to market forces. Thus, we believe that the top 
and low-end estimates described above both represent somewhat strong 
assumptions and sufficiently capture the uncertainty surrounding what 
portion of the market adoption is attributable to ``pure market 
forces.''
    Thus, in addition to reporting our data on the market adoption in 
MY2014 and our projections for 2018, this analysis considers what the 
costs and benefits (the effect) of the rule, the rulemaking process, 
and the K.T. Safety Act are. Using the top and low end estimated 
adoption trends described above, we believe that the market adoption in 
2018 would be between 59% and 73%. Assuming this range of market 
adoption, we believe that $546 million to $924 million in costs and 
$265 million to $595 million in monetized benefits are attributable to 
today's final rule, the rulemaking process, and the K.T. Safety 
Act.\153\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \153\ Further information on these calculations is available in 
the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis. This analysis is available in 
the docket referenced at the beginning of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

e. Net Impact

    Table 16 below presents the lifetime monetized benefits, lifetime 
costs, and presents their difference--the net impact. The table 
monetizes the aforementioned installation costs and fatality/injury 
reduction benefits and combines these values with maintenance costs and 
property damage only crash avoidance benefits. The costs in Table 16 do 
not vary by discount rate because this part of Table 16 only includes 
the costs that are incurred in order to produce the rear visibility 
system and install it on the vehicle (the installation costs). All 
these costs are incurred on the year the vehicle is produced. Thus, the 
costs vary by 180[deg] or 130[deg] camera and display type but do not 
vary by discount rate.
    However, the benefits do vary by both discount rate and camera 
selection. Depending on the type of equipment used by the manufacturer 
(180[deg] or 130[deg] camera) and the discount rate (3% or 7%) the 
agency expects today's final rule to save between 20 and 30 equivalent 
lives per year.\154\ Using the most up-to-date value of a statistical 
life from the Department's guidance \155\, the agency expects the 
annual benefit of the rule (due to fatality and injury reduction) to be 
between $206 million and $317 million. We anticipate that the benefits 
from societal costs avoided due to fatality and injury reduction \156\ 
will be $16 million to $24 million. Further, the net benefits \157\ 
from property

[[Page 19239]]

damage avoided range from $44 million to $57 million. Thus, the agency 
expects the total benefits from today's rule to range from $265 million 
to $396 million when considering injuries avoided, fatalities avoided, 
and property damage across the 3 and 7 percent discount rates.\158\ 
Note that for the 180[deg] camera options (the Low and High Estimates), 
the lifetime monetized benefits are the same, but the cost of display 
placement differs based on display type.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \154\ These benefits do not include those lives that would be 
saved by rearview video systems voluntarily installed by the 
industry.
    \155\ See Guidance on Treatment of the Economic Value of a 
Statistical Life in U.S. Department of Transportation Analyses, 
available at http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/VSL%20Guidance%202013.pdf.
    \156\ These are costs that would be incurred as a result of a 
fatality or injury that is apart from the value of the life lost or 
the quality of life lost (e.g., medical costs.
    \157\ While rearview video systems enable a driver to avoid 
property damage only crashes in addition to crashes resulting in 
injuries and fatalities, the property damage only cases also include 
cases where the crash was either not avoided or unavoidable (such as 
a rear-end collision) which would result in the additional expense 
of repairing the rearview video system. When considering these 
cases, the benefit of avoiding property damage outweighed costs of 
repairing rearview video systems when such crashes were not avoided. 
Thus, this value is expressed as a net benefit and is included in 
the benefits section of Table 16.
    \158\ The benefits estimates in this paragraph are expressed in 
ranges. Each range represents the highest and lowest figure when 
considering the different discount rates and camera types. However, 
the same combination of camera type and discount rate do not produce 
the highest and lowest figure in each of the ranges specified in 
this paragraph. Thus, the sum of highest and lowest figures in 
fatality/injury reduction benefits range and the property damage 
only benefits range do not correspond to the highest and lowest 
figures in the total benefits range. The Final Regulatory Impact 
Analysis contains the exact figures that show the total monetized 
benefit (as the sum of the fatality, injury, and property damage 
reduction benefits) for each combination of camera type and 
discount, available in the docket number referenced at the beginning 
of this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In this case, the monetized costs outweigh the monetized benefits 
and therefore the net impacts are cost figures. However, as mentioned 
above, there are significant benefits to this rule that cannot be 
quantified in monetary terms. The Primary Estimate is the lowest 
installation cost option (which assumes manufacturers will use a 
130[deg] camera and will utilize any existing display units already 
offered in their vehicles). The Low Estimate and High Estimate provide 
the estimated minimum and maximum net impacts possible. The Low 
Estimate is the 180[deg] camera and assumes that manufacturers will 
install a new display to meet the requirements of today's rule. It 
represents the minimum overall benefit estimate as it has the largest 
negative net impact. Conversely, the High Estimate is the 180[deg] 
camera and assumes that manufacturers that currently offer vehicles 
with display units are able and choose to use those existing display 
units to meet the requirements of today's rule. This represents the 
maximum overall benefit estimate because it has the smallest negative 
net impact.

 Table 16--Summary of Benefits and Costs Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (millions 2010$) MY2018 and Thereafter
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                       Discount
                          Benefits                              Primary        Low          High         rate
                                                                estimate     estimate     estimate    (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lifetime Monetized..........................................         $265         $305         $305            7
Lifetime Monetized..........................................          344          396          396            3
Costs:
    Lifetime Monetized......................................          546          620          557            7
    Lifetime Monetized......................................          546          620          557            3
Net Impact:
    Lifetime Monetized......................................         -281         -315         -252            7
    Lifetime Monetized......................................         -202         -224         -161            3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

f. Cost Effectiveness and Regulatory Alternatives

    Based on the aforementioned revised figures for costs and 
quantifiable benefits, and on the relevant discount rates of 3 and 7 
percent, the net cost per equivalent life saved for rearview video 
systems ranges from $15.9 to $26.3 million. However, as discussed 
above, the agency believes that today's rule also affords significant 
unquantifiable benefits in the form of reducing a safety risk that 
disproportionately affects particularly vulnerable population groups 
(such as young children), and exacts a significant emotional cost on 
relatives and caretakers who backover their own children. In addition, 
the rear visibility systems required under today's rule are the only 
effective means of addressing the backover crash safety concern and 
fulfilling the requirements of the K.T. Safety Act. Further, after 
considering the totality of the information, we find that the 
requirements of today's rule are the most cost-effective way of 
achieving the objectives of the K.T. Safety Act.

                 Table 17--Estimated Cost Effectiveness
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Cost per Equivalent Life Saved
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rearview Video Systems............  $15.9 to $26.3 million.*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The range presented is from a 3% to 7% discount rate.

    To devise an appropriate regulatory approach to address the safety 
risks presented by backover crashes and the requirements of the K.T. 
Safety Act, the agency considered various technologies and applications 
of those technologies over the course of this rulemaking, beginning 
with the ANPRM and continuing through to the development of this final 
rule. As previously noted, the three main technologies considered 
included rearview video systems, sensor systems, and additional 
rearview mirrors. While various commenters suggested alternative 
sensor-based systems, none of these systems were able to address our 
concerns that the data indicate that without visual confirmation of the 
presence of a child or other pedestrian behind the vehicle, sensors 
simply did not induce a sufficient and timely response from the driver 
so as to avoid the crash. While rearview video systems were the most 
expensive technology considered, the agency's research found that 
rearview video systems were also the only effective technology. Because 
of the significantly lower effectiveness of sensor systems that do not 
afford the driver a visual image of the area behind the vehicle, the 
NPRM estimated a significantly higher cost per equivalent life saved 
for rear object detection sensor systems than rearview video systems. 
In spite of the lower per vehicle cost estimate for sensor systems in 
the NPRM, their very low effectiveness resulted in the agency's 
estimating that the cost per equivalent life saved by these sensor 
systems would be between $95.5 and $192.3 million. While the new 
information that the agency received through the day care study has 
improved the estimated effectiveness of sensor systems somewhat, the 
agency still estimates that the cost per equivalent life saved for 
sensor systems would range from $44.6 to $94.1 million.\159\ This means

[[Page 19240]]

that sensors would cost more than twice the amount per life saved when 
compared to rearview video technology. Thus, the agency continues to 
believe that rearview video systems are significantly more cost 
effective than rear sensor systems and that rearview video systems are 
the most cost effective technology available that can address the 
backover safety concern. While we believe that the statutory mandate in 
the K.T. Safety Act compels the agency to take regulatory action to 
address the backover safety risk (even in situations where the 
regulatory action may not be cost beneficial when comparing monetized 
cost to benefits), we believe that mandate is more rationally achieved 
through the alternative that saves substantially more lives at 
substantially less cost per life than the potential alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \159\ For further information, please reference the Final 
Regulatory Impact Analysis prepared in support of this final rule, 
available in the docket number referenced at the beginning of this 
document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, while the agency considered the application of rear 
visibility countermeasures to certain vehicle types or size, the agency 
understands the requirements of the K.T. Safety Act as directing the 
agency to make revisions to FMVSS No. 111 to expand the required field 
of view for all vehicles with a GVWR under 10,000 pounds except for 
motorcycles and trailers. Although the agency is afforded the limited 
discretion of applying different rear visibility countermeasures to 
different vehicle types, the agency does not believe that the 
effectiveness data from our research or our cost estimates support 
applying a different rear visibility countermeasure based on vehicle 
type. As mentioned above, to apply sensor or mirror-based 
countermeasures, instead of the rear visibility system requirements of 
today's final rule, to certain vehicle types would forgo important 
safety benefits. Further, such application would increase the cost per 
equivalent life saved as the reduction in the costs of these 
alternative countermeasures would not offset the greater reduction in 
the effectiveness of the countermeasure. Given this information, the 
agency concludes in today's final rule that the rear visibility systems 
required in today's rule are the only effective means of achieving a 
meaningful reduction in backover crash fatalities and injuries.
    Therefore, after considering the aforementioned technological and 
regulatory alternatives, the agency reiterates its conclusion above 
that the rear visibility systems required under today's rule are not 
only the single effective way of addressing the backover safety risk 
and meeting the requirements of the K.T. Safety Act, but also the most 
cost effective way of doing so.

V. Regulatory Analyses

Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures

    Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies require this agency to make 
determinations as to whether a regulatory action is ``significant'' and 
therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the 
aforementioned Executive Orders. The Executive Order 12866 defines a 
``significant regulatory action'' as one that is likely to result in a 
rule that may:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    We have considered the potential impact of this final rule under 
Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures and have determined 
that today's final rule is economically significant. This rulemaking is 
economically significant because it is likely to have an annual effect 
on the economy of $100 million or more. Thus it was reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget under E.O. 12866 and 13563. The 
rulemaking action has also been determined to be significant under the 
Department's regulatory policies and procedures. The regulatory impact 
analysis (RIA) fully discusses the estimated costs and benefits of this 
rulemaking action. The costs and benefits are also summarized in 
section IV of this preamble, supra.

Executive Order 13609: Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

    The policy statement in section 1 of Executive Order 13609 
provides, in part:

    The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may 
differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address 
similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the 
regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign 
counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of 
American businesses to export and compete internationally. In 
meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, 
environmental, and other issues, international regulatory 
cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective 
as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such 
cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, 
eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory 
requirements.

    NHTSA is not currently aware of any ``regulatory approaches taken 
by foreign governments'' that would address the safety concerns raised 
in this rulemaking. While today's amendments to FMVSS No. 111 establish 
new requirements, the agency is not aware of any approaches taken by 
foreign governments that would address Congress' concern in the K.T. 
Safety Act regarding fatalities and injuries resulting from backover 
crashes. Thus, the agency is not aware of any such approach that would 
be at least as protective as the approach adopted by the agency in 
today's final rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of proposed rulemaking or final rule, it must prepare and make 
available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that 
describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). 
The Small Business Administration's regulations at 13 CFR Part 121 
define a small business, in part, as a business entity ``which operates 
primarily within the United States.'' (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency 
certifies the proposal will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of 
the factual basis for certifying that a proposal will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    I hereby certify that this proposed rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
We believe that the rulemaking will not have a significant economic 
impact on the small vehicle manufacturers because the systems are not 
technically difficult to develop or install and the cost of the systems 
($44 to $147) is a small proportion of the

[[Page 19241]]

overall vehicle cost for most of these specialty cars.
    Today's final rule will directly affect motor vehicle manufacturers 
and final-stage manufacturers. The majority of motor vehicle 
manufacturers will not qualify as a small business. There are ten 
manufacturers of passenger cars that are small businesses.\160\ These 
manufacturers, along with manufacturers that do not qualify as a small 
business, are already required to comply with the current mirror 
requirements of FMVSS No. 111. Similarly, there are several 
manufacturers of low-speed vehicles that are small businesses.\161\ 
Previously, FMVSS No. 111 did not apply to low-speed vehicles, although 
they were required to have basic mirrors pursuant to FMVSS No. 500, 
Low-speed vehicles (including the option of having either an exterior 
driver-side mirror or an interior rearview mirror). The addition of a 
rearview video system can be accomplished via the purchase of an 
exterior video camera, integration of a console video screen or the 
addition of an interior rearview mirror-mounted screen, and wiring to 
connect the two as well as to connect them to the vehicle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \160\ Carbon Motor, CODA, Fisker Automotive Inc., GGT Electric, 
Mosler Automotive, Panoz Auto Development Company, Saleen, Shelby 
American Inc., Standard Taxi, Tesla Motors Inc.
    \161\ Columbia ParCar Corp., Club Car, LLC, Miles Electric 
Vehicles LLC, STAR Electric Car Sales, Tomberlin, Wheego Electric 
Cars, Inc., and Wildfire.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Because the K.T. Safety Act applies to all motor vehicles with a 
GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less (except motorcycles and trailers) in its 
mandate to reduce backovers, all of these small manufacturers are 
affected by the requirements in today's final rule. However, the 
economic impact upon these entities will not be significant for the 
following reasons.
    (1) Potential cost increases are small compared to the price of the 
vehicles being manufactured.
    (2) Today's final rule provides four years lead-time, the limit 
permitted by the K.T. Safety Act, and will allow small volume 
manufacturers the option of waiting until the end of the phase-in 
(until May 1, 2018) to meet the rear visibility requirements.\162\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \162\ While the agency currently does not have information that 
would show how long it would take for small manufacturers to 
implement the requirements in today's final rule, we do not have the 
statutory flexibility to afford small manufacturers more lead time 
beyond the four-year statutory limit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPRM, the agency had also considered several alternatives 
that could help to reduce the burden on small businesses. The agency 
considered an alternative under which passenger cars would be required 
to be equipped with either a visibility system or with a system that 
utilizes an ultrasonic sensor that monitors the specified area behind 
the vehicle and an audible warning. This alternative would have lower 
installation costs but also substantially lower safety benefits. Thus, 
it would have significantly higher costs per equivalent life saved.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    NHTSA has examined today's final rule pursuant to Executive Order 
13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and concluded that no additional 
consultation with States, local governments or their representatives is 
mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The agency has concluded that 
the rulemaking would not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation 
of a federalism summary impact statement. Today's final rule does not 
have ``substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.''
    NHTSA rules can have preemptive effect in two ways. First, the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act contains an express 
preemption provision:
    When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this 
chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or 
continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of 
performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the 
standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter.

49 U.S.C. 30103(b)(1). It is this statutory command by Congress that 
preempts any non-identical State legislative and administrative law 
addressing the same aspect of performance.
    The express preemption provision described above is subject to a 
savings clause under which ``[c]ompliance with a motor vehicle safety 
standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from 
liability at common law.'' 49 U.S.C. 30103(e) Pursuant to this 
provision, State common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle 
manufacturers that might otherwise be preempted by the express 
preemption provision are generally preserved. However, the Supreme 
Court has recognized the possibility, in some instances, of implied 
preemption of State common law tort causes of action by virtue of 
NHTSA's rules--even if not expressly preempted.
    This second way that NHTSA rules can preempt is dependent upon the 
existence of an actual conflict between an FMVSS and the higher 
standard that would effectively be imposed on motor vehicle 
manufacturers if someone obtained a State common law tort judgment 
against the manufacturer--notwithstanding the manufacturer's compliance 
with the NHTSA standard. Because most NHTSA standards established by an 
FMVSS are minimum standards, a State common law tort cause of action 
that seeks to impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers 
will generally not be preempted. However, if and when such a conflict 
does exist--for example, when the standard at issue is both a minimum 
and a maximum standard--the State common law tort cause of action is 
impliedly preempted. See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 
861 (2000).
    Pursuant to Executive Order 13132, NHTSA has considered whether 
this rule could or should preempt State common law causes of action. 
The agency's ability to announce its conclusion regarding the 
preemptive effect of one of its rules reduces the likelihood that 
preemption will be an issue in any subsequent tort litigation.
    To this end, the agency has examined the nature (e.g., the language 
and structure of the regulatory text) and objectives of today's final 
rule and finds that this rule, like many NHTSA rules, prescribes only a 
minimum safety standard. Accordingly, NHTSA does not intend that this 
final rule preempt state tort law that would effectively impose a 
higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers than that established by 
today's final rule. Establishment of a higher standard by means of 
State tort law would not conflict with the minimum standard established 
in this document. Without any conflict, there could not be any implied 
preemption of a State common law tort cause of action.
    NHTSA solicited comments from the States and other interested 
parties on this assessment of issues relevant to E.O. 13132 in the 
NPRM. However, we did not receive any comments with regard to this 
issue.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    When promulgating a regulation, Executive Order 12988 specifically 
requires that the agency must make every reasonable effort to ensure 
that the regulation, as appropriate: (1) Specifies in clear language 
the preemptive effect; (2) specifies in clear language the effect

[[Page 19242]]

on existing Federal law or regulation, including all provisions 
repealed, circumscribed, displaced, impaired, or modified; (3) provides 
a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general 
standard, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) 
specifies in clear language the retroactive effect; (5) specifies 
whether administrative proceedings are to be required before parties 
may file suit in court; (6) explicitly or implicitly defines key terms; 
and (7) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general 
draftsmanship of regulations. Pursuant to this Order, NHTSA notes as 
follows. The preemptive effect of this final rule is discussed above in 
connection with Executive Order 13132. NHTSA notes further that there 
is no requirement that individuals submit a petition for 
reconsideration or pursue other administrative proceeding before they 
may file suit in court.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children From Environmental Health 
and Safety Risks)

    Executive Order 13045, ``Protection of Children from Environmental 
Health and Safety Risks,'' (62 FR 19885; April 23, 1997) applies to any 
proposed or final rule that: (1) Is determined to be ``economically 
significant,'' as defined in Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an 
environmental health or safety risk that NHTSA has reason to believe 
may have a disproportionate effect on children. If a rule meets both 
criteria, the agency must evaluate the environmental health or safety 
effects of the rule on children, and explain why the rule is preferable 
to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives 
considered by the agency.
    Today's final rule is subject to Executive Order 13045 because it 
is economically significant and available data demonstrate that the 
safety risk addressed by this proposal disproportionately involves 
children, especially very young ones. As the safety risk to children is 
a central concern of this rulemaking, the issues that must be analyzed 
under this Executive Order are discussed extensively in the preamble 
above and in the RIA.

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 
(NTTAA) (Pub.L. 104-113), ``all Federal agencies and departments shall 
use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary 
consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means 
to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies 
and departments.'' Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress, through OMB, 
explanations when we decide not to use available and applicable 
voluntary consensus standards.
    Pursuant to the above requirements, the agency conducted a review 
of voluntary consensus standards to determine if any were applicable to 
today's final rule. While the agency did not discover any voluntary 
consensus standards that can be applied to the entirety of rear 
visibility systems, we found various voluntary consensus standards 
which could be utilized for durability and luminance requirements for 
today's final rule. The agency considered the possibility of using 
these voluntary consensus standards. However, we have found these 
standards to be unsuitable for incorporation into an FMVSS at this 
time. Our analysis of each of the applicable voluntary consensus 
standards can be found in our discussion of the durability and 
luminance requirements in earlier sections of this preamble. Further, 
in response to comments, NHTSA endeavored to establish requirements 
that are as performance based and technologically-neutral as possible, 
to allow maximum design freedom while still meeting the performance 
requirements needed for safety.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires agencies to 
prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits and other effects 
of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to 
result in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually 
(adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). NHTSA must comply with 
that requirement in connection with this rulemaking as today's final 
rule would result in expenditures by the private sector of over $100 
million annually.
    As noted previously, the agency has prepared a detailed economic 
assessment in the RIA. In that assessment, the agency analyzes the 
benefits and costs of the rear visibility systems required under 
today's final rule for passenger cars, MPVs, trucks, buses, and low-
speed vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. NHTSA's analysis 
indicates that today's final rule could result in private expenditures 
of up to $1.7 billion annually.
    The RIA and the PRIA (published in conjunction with the NPRM) 
analyzed the expected benefits and costs of alternative countermeasure 
options, including mirrors, cameras, and sensors, as specified in the 
K.T. Safety Act. The agency subjected several types of each class of 
countermeasure to thorough effectiveness testing and cost-benefit 
analysis. Additionally, the agency previously published a detailed 
ANPRM, NPRM, and PRIA, in order to explain its thoughts on the 
technological solutions available and solicit information on costs, 
benefits, and applications on all possible solutions to the safety 
concern. NHTSA received a large variety of comments on the ANPRM, NPRM, 
and PRIA and used that information in formulating today's final rule.
    As explained in detail in the RIA and the preamble for today's 
final rule, after carefully exploring all possible alternatives to meet 
the statutory mandate of the Act, NHTSA concluded that rearview video 
systems offer not only the highest overall benefits, but also the most 
efficient cost per life saved ratio.
    In addition, NHTSA has performed a probabilistic uncertainty 
analysis to examine the degree of uncertainty in its cost and benefit 
estimates and included that analysis in the RIA.

National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking action for the purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that 
implementation of this action would not have any significant impact on 
the quality of the human environment.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), a person is not 
required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency 
unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. Today's 
final rule includes a collection of information, i.e., the phase-in 
reporting requirements. If approved, these requirements would require 
manufacturers of passenger cars and of trucks, buses, MPVs, and low-
speed vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, to annually submit 
a report for each of two years (with requirements in the phase-in 
period) concerning the number of such vehicles that meet the rear 
visibility system requirements. In

[[Page 19243]]

the preamble of the NPRM, the agency solicited public comment on the 
following information collection request. In response, the agency did 
not receive any comments.
    Accordingly, the Department of Transportation is submitting the 
following information collection request to OMB for review and 
clearance under the PRA. The following information is identical to the 
information the agency offered for public comment in the NPRM except 
that the agency discovered an error in the Estimated Costs calculation 
and in the estimated number of manufacturers. While the agency believes 
that this information request will create a small recordkeeping burden 
on the manufacturers, we do not expect that manufacturers will incur 
any additional costs beyond that recordkeeping burden. Thus, we have 
adjusted the Estimated Costs to be $0. In addition, while the agency 
correctly calculated 42 total burden hours (2 hours per manufacturer), 
the agency stated, in error, that there were 24 total manufacturers. We 
have corrected the number of manufacturers to 21 and the total burden 
hours continue to be 42 total hours. The agency will complete the 
information collection request process before the beginning of the 
phase-in schedule on May 1, 2016.
    Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
    Title: Phase-In Production Reporting Requirements for Rear 
Visibility Systems.
    Type of Request: New request.
    OMB Clearance Number: None assigned.
    Form Number: This collection of information will not use any 
standard forms.
    Affected Public: The respondents are manufacturers of passenger 
cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, and low-speed 
vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 kg (10,000 
pounds) or less. The agency estimates that there are approximately 21 
such manufacturers.
    Estimate of the Total Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden 
Resulting from the Collection of Information: NHTSA estimates that the 
total annual burden is 42 hours (2 hours per manufacturer per year). 
Two reports per manufacturer would be collected.
    Estimated Costs: NHTSA estimates that the total annual cost burden, 
in U.S. dollars, will be $0. No additional resources would be expended 
by vehicle manufacturers to gather annual production information 
because they already compile this data for their own purposes.
    Summary of the Collection of Information: This collection would 
require manufacturers of passenger cars, multipurpose passenger 
vehicles, trucks, buses, and low-speed vehicles having a gross vehicle 
weight rating of 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) or less to provide motor 
vehicle production data for the following two years: May 1, 2016 
through April 30, 2017; and May 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018.
    Description of the Need for the Information and the Proposed Use of 
the Information: The purpose of the reporting requirements will be to 
aid NHTSA in determining whether a manufacturer has complied with the 
requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 111, Rear 
visibility, during the phase-in of new requirements for rear visibility 
systems.

Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may 
use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document 
to find this action in the Unified Agenda.

VI. Regulatory Text

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Imports, incorporation by reference, motor vehicle safety, 
reporting and recordkeeping, tires.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends 49 CFR part 571 as 
follows:

PART 571--FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

0
1. The authority citation for Part 571 of Title 49 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, and 30166; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.


0
2. Section 571.5 is amended by revising paragraphs (d)(5) and (k)(26) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  571.5  Matter incorporated by reference.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (5) ASTM B117-03, ``Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray 
(Fog) Apparatus,'' approved October 1, 2003, into Sec. Sec.  571.106; 
571.111.
* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (26) SAE Standard J826 JUL95, ``Devices for Use in Defining and 
Measuring Vehicle Seating Accommodation,'' revised July 1995, into 
Sec. Sec.  571.10; 571.111; 571.202; 571.202a; 571.216a.
* * * * *

0
3. Section 571.111 is amended by
0
a. Revising the section heading;
0
b. Revising S1;
0
c. Revising S3;
0
d. Adding, in alphabetical order, the definitions of ``Backing event,'' 
``Environmental test fixture,'' ``External component,'' ``Key,'' 
``Limited line manufacturer,'' ``Rearview image,'' ``Rear visibility 
system,'' ``Small manufacturer,'' and ``Starting system'' to S4;
0
e. Adding S5.5 through S5.5.7;
0
f. Revising S6;
0
g. Adding S6.2 through S6.2.7;
0
h. Adding S14 through S14.3;
0
i. Adding S15 through S15.7; and
0
j. Adding Figures 5 and 6 to read as follows:


Sec.  571.111  Standard No. 111; Rear visibility.

    S1. Scope. This standard specifies requirements for rear visibility 
devices and systems.
* * * * *
    S3. Application. This standard applies to passenger cars, 
multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, school buses, 
motorcycles and low-speed vehicles.
    S4. * * *
    Backing event means an amount of time which starts when the 
vehicle's direction selector is placed in reverse, and ends at the 
manufacturer's choosing, when the vehicle forward motion reaches:
    (a) a speed of 10 mph,
    (b) a distance of 10 meters traveled, or
    (c) a continuous duration of 10 seconds.
* * * * *
    Environmental test fixture means a device designed to support the 
external components of the rear visibility system for testing purposes, 
using any factory seal which would be used during normal vehicle 
operation, in a manner that simulates the on-vehicle component 
orientation during normal vehicle operation, and prevents the exposure 
of any test conditions to portions of the external component which are 
not exposed to the outside of the motor vehicle.
    External component means any part of the rear visibility system 
which is exposed to the outside of the motor vehicle.
    Key means a physical device or an electronic code which, when 
inserted into the starting system (by physical or electronic means), 
enables the vehicle operator to activate the engine or motor.

[[Page 19244]]

    Limited line manufacturer means a manufacturer that sells three or 
fewer carlines, as that term is defined in 49 CFR 583.4, in the United 
States during a production year, as that term is defined in S15.
    Rearview image means a visual image, detected by means of a single 
source, of the area directly behind a vehicle that is provided in a 
single location to the vehicle operator and by means of indirect 
vision.
    Rear visibility system means the set of devices or components which 
together perform the function of producing the rearview image as 
required under this standard.
    Small manufacturer means an original vehicle manufacturer that 
produces or assembles fewer than 5,000 vehicles annually for sale in 
the United States.
    Starting system means the vehicle system used in conjunction with 
the key to activate the engine or motor.
* * * * *
    S5.5 Rear visibility.
    (a) Phase-in period requirements. For passenger cars with a GVWR of 
4,536 kg or less manufactured on or after May 1, 2016, but not later 
than April 30, 2018, a percentage of each manufacturer's production, as 
specified in S15, shall display a rearview image meeting the 
requirements of S5.5.1.
    (b) Final requirements. Each passenger car with a GVWR of 4,536 kg 
or less manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, shall display a rearview 
image meeting the requirements of S5.5.1 through S5.5.7.
    S5.5.1 Field of view. When tested in accordance with the procedures 
in S14.1, the rearview image shall include:
    (a) A minimum of a 150-mm wide portion along the circumference of 
each test object located at positions F and G specified in S14.1.4; and
    (b) The full width and height of each test object located at 
positions A through E specified in S14.1.4.
    S5.5.2 Size. When the rearview image is measured in accordance with 
the procedures in S14.1, the calculated visual angle subtended by the 
horizontal width of
    (a) All three test objects located at positions A, B, and C 
specified in S14.1.4 shall average not less than 5 minutes of arc; and
    (b) Each individual test object (A, B, and C) shall not be less 
than 3 minutes of arc.
    S5.5.3 Response time. The rearview image meeting the requirements 
of S5.5.1 and S5.5.2, when tested in accordance with S14.2, shall be 
displayed within 2.0 seconds of the start of a backing event.
    S5.5.4 Linger time. The rearview image meeting the requirements of 
S5.5.1 and S5.5.2 shall not be displayed after the backing event has 
ended.
    S5.5.5 Deactivation. The rearview image meeting the requirements of 
S5.5.1 and S5.5.2 shall remain visible during the backing event until 
either, the driver modifies the view, or the vehicle direction selector 
is removed from the reverse position.
    S5.5.6 Default view. The rear visibility system must default to the 
rearview image meeting the requirements of S5.5.1 and S5.5.2 at the 
beginning of each backing event regardless of any modifications to the 
field of view the driver has previously selected.
    S5.5.7 Durability. The rear visibility system shall meet the field 
of view and image size requirements of S5.5.1 and S5.5.2 after each 
durability test specified in S14.3.1, S14.3.2, and S14.3.3.
    S6. Requirements for multipurpose passenger vehicles, low-speed 
vehicles, trucks, buses, and school buses with GVWR of 4,536 kg or 
less.
* * * * *
    S6.2 Rear visibility.
    (a) Phase-in period requirements. For multipurpose passenger 
vehicles, low-speed vehicles, trucks, buses, and school buses with a 
GVWR of 4,536 kg or less manufactured on or after May 1, 2016, but not 
later than April 30, 2018, a percentage of each manufacturer's 
production, as specified in S15, shall display a rearview image meeting 
the requirements of S6.2.1.
    (b) Final requirements. Each multipurpose passenger vehicle, low-
speed vehicle, truck, bus, and school bus with a GVWR of 4,536 kg or 
less manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, shall display a rearview 
image meeting the requirements of S6.2.1 through S6.2.7.
    S6.2.1 Field of view. When tested in accordance with the procedures 
in S14.1, the rearview image shall include:
    (a) A minimum of a 150-mm wide portion along the circumference of 
each test object located at positions F and G specified in S14.1.4; and
    (b) The full width and height of each test object located at 
positions A through E specified in S14.1.4.
    S6.2.2 Size. When the rearview image is measured in accordance with 
the procedures in S14.1, the calculated visual angle subtended by the 
horizontal width of
    (a) All three test objects located at positions A, B, and C 
specified in S14.1.4 shall average not less than 5 minutes of arc; and
    (b) Each individual test object (A, B, and C) shall not be less 
than 3 minutes of arc.
    S6.2.3 Response time. The rearview image meeting the requirements 
of S6.2.1 and S6.2.2, when tested in accordance with S14.2, shall be 
displayed within 2.0 seconds of the start of a backing event.
    S6.2.4 Linger time. The rearview image meeting the requirements of 
S6.2.1 and S6.2.2 shall not be displayed after the backing event has 
ended.
    S6.2.5 Deactivation. The rearview image meeting the requirements of 
S6.2.1 and S6.2.2 shall remain visible during the backing event until 
either, the driver modifies the view, or the vehicle direction selector 
is removed from the reverse position.
    S6.2.6 Default view. The rear visibility system must default to the 
rearview image meeting the requirements of S6.2.1 and S6.2.2 at the 
beginning of each backing event regardless of any modifications to the 
field of view the driver has previously selected.
    S6.2.7 Durability. The rear visibility system shall meet the field 
of view and image size requirements of S6.2.1 and S6.2.2 after each 
durability test specified in S14.3.1, S14.3.2, and S14.3.3.
* * * * *
    S14. Rear visibility test procedure.
    S14.1 Field of view and image size test procedure.
    S14.1.1 Lighting. The ambient illumination conditions in which 
testing is conducted consists of light that is evenly distributed from 
above and is at an intensity of between 7,000 lux and 10,000 lux, as 
measured at the center of the exterior surface of the vehicle's roof.
    S14.1.2 Vehicle conditions.
    S14.1.2.1 Tires. The vehicle's tires are set to the vehicle 
manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure.
    S14.1.2.2 Fuel tank loading. The fuel tank is full.
    S14.1.2.3 Vehicle load. The vehicle is loaded to simulate the 
weight of the driver and four passengers or the designated occupant 
capacity, if less. The weight of each occupant is represented by 45 kg 
resting on the seat pan and 23 kg resting on the vehicle floorboard 
placed in the driver's designated seating position and any other 
available designated seating position.
    S14.1.2.4 Rear hatch and trunk lids. If the vehicle is equipped 
with rear hatches or trunk lids, they are closed and latched in their 
normal vehicle operating condition.
    S14.1.2.5 Driver's seat positioning.
    S14.1.2.5.1 Adjust the driver's seat to the midpoint of the 
longitudinal

[[Page 19245]]

adjustment range. If the seat cannot be adjusted to the midpoint of the 
longitudinal adjustment range, the closest adjustment position to the 
rear of the midpoint shall be used.
    S14.1.2.5.2 Adjust the driver's seat to the lowest point of all 
vertical adjustment ranges present.
    S14.1.2.5.3 Using the three dimensional SAE Standard J826 JUL95 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  571.5) manikin, adjust the 
driver's seat back angle at the vertical portion of the H-point 
machine's torso weight hanger to 25 degrees. If this adjustment setting 
is not available, adjust the seat-back angle to the positional detent 
setting closest to 25 degrees in the direction of the manufacturer's 
nominal design riding position.
    S14.1.3 Test object. Each test object is a right circular cylinder 
that is 0.8 m high and 0.3 m in external diameter. There are seven test 
objects, designated A through G, and they are marked as follows.
    (a) Test objects A, B, C, D, and E are marked with a horizontal 
band encompassing the uppermost 150 mm of the side of the cylinder.
    (b) Test objects F and G are marked on the side with a solid 
vertical stripe of 150 mm width extending from the top to the bottom of 
each cylinder.
    (c) Both the horizontal band and vertical stripe shall be of a 
color that contrasts with both the rest of the cylinder and the test 
surface.
    S14.1.4 Test object locations and orientation. Place the test 
objects at locations specified in S14.1.4(a)-(f) and illustrated in 
Figure 5. Measure the distances shown in Figure 5 from a test object to 
another test object or other object from the cylindrical center (axis) 
of the test object as viewed from above. Each test object is oriented 
so that its axis is vertical.
    (a) Place test objects F and G so that their centers are in a 
transverse vertical plane that is 0.3 m to the rear of a transverse 
vertical plane tangent to the rearmost surface of the rear bumper.
    (b) Place test objects D and E so that their centers are in a 
transverse vertical plane that is 3.05 m to the rear of a transverse 
vertical plane tangent to the rearmost surface of the rear bumper.
    (c) Place test objects A, B and C so that their centers are in a 
transverse vertical plane that is 6.1 m to the rear of a transverse 
vertical plane tangent to the rearmost surface of the rear bumper.
    (d) Place test object B so that its center is in a longitudinal 
vertical plane passing through the vehicle's longitudinal centerline.
    (e) Place test objects C, E, and G so that their centers are in a 
longitudinal vertical plane located 1.52 m, measured laterally and 
horizontally, to the right of the vehicle longitudinal center line.
    (f) Place test objects A, D, and F so that their centers are in a 
longitudinal vertical plane located 1.52 m, measured laterally and 
horizontally, to the left of the vehicle longitudinal center line.
    S14.1.5 Test reference point. Obtain the test reference point using 
the following procedure.
    (a) Locate the center of the forward-looking eye midpoint 
(Mf) illustrated in Figure 6 so that it is 635 mm vertically 
above the H point (H) and 96 mm aft of the H point.
    (b) Locate the head/neck joint center (J) illustrated in Figure 6 
so that it is 100 mm rearward of Mf and 588 mm vertically 
above the H point.
    (c) Draw an imaginary horizontal line between Mf and a 
point vertically above J, defined as J2.
    (d) Rotate the imaginary line about J2 in the direction 
of the rearview image until the straight-line distance between 
Mf and the center of the display used to present the 
rearview image required in this standard reaches the shortest possible 
value.
    (e) Define this new, rotated location of Mf to be 
Mr (eye midpoint rotated).
    S14.1.6 Display adjustment. If the display is mounted with a 
rotational adjustment mechanism, adjust the display such that the 
surface of the display is normal to the imaginary line traveling 
through Mr and J2 or as near to normal as the 
display adjustment will allow.
    S14.1.7 Steering wheel adjustment. The steering wheel is adjusted 
to the position where the longitudinal centerline of all vehicle tires 
are parallel to the longitudinal centerline of the vehicle. If no such 
position exists, adjust the steering wheel to the position where the 
longitudinal centerline of all vehicle tires are closest to parallel to 
the longitudinal centerline of the vehicle.
    S14.1.8 Measurement procedure.
    (a) Locate a 35 mm or larger format still camera, video camera, or 
digital equivalent such that the center of the camera's image plane is 
located at Mr and the camera lens is directed at the center 
of the display's rearview image.
    (b) Affix a ruler at the base of the rearview image in an 
orientation perpendicular with a test object cylinder centerline. If 
the vehicle head restraints obstruct the camera's view of the display, 
they may be adjusted or removed.
    (c) Photograph the image of the visual display with the ruler 
included in the frame and the rearview image displayed.
    S14.1.8.1 Extract photographic data.
    (a) Using the photograph, measure the apparent length, of a 50 mm 
delineated section of the in-photo ruler, along the ruler's edge, 
closest to the rearview image and at a point near the horizontal center 
of the rearview image.
    (b) Using the photograph, measure the horizontal width of the 
colored band at the upper portion of each of the three test objects 
located at positions A, B, and C in Figure 5.
    (c) Define the measured horizontal widths of the colored bands of 
the three test objects as da, db, and dc.
    S14.1.8.2 Obtain scaling factor. Using the apparent length of the 
50 mm portion of the ruler as it appears in the photograph, divide this 
apparent length by 50 mm to obtain a scaling factor. Define this 
scaling factor as sscale.
    S14.1.8.3 Determine viewing distance. Determine the actual distance 
from the rotated eye midpoint location (Mr) to the center of 
the rearview image. Define this viewing distance as aeye.
    S14.1.8.4 Calculate visual angle subtended by test objects. Use the 
following equation to calculate the subtended visual angles:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR07AP14.006

    where i can take on the value of either test object A, B, or C, and 
arcsine is calculated in units of degrees.
    S14.2 Image response time test procedure. The temperature inside 
the vehicle during this test is any temperature between 15[deg]C and 
25[deg]C. Immediately prior to commencing the actions listed in 
subparagraphs (a)-(c) of this paragraph, all components of the rear 
visibility system are in a powered off state. Then:
    (a) Open the driver's door to any width,
    (b) Close the driver's door
    (c) Activate the starting system using the key, and
    (d) Select the vehicle's reverse direction at any time not less 
than 4.0 seconds and not more than 6.0 seconds after the driver's door 
is opened. The driver door is open when the edge of the driver's door 
opposite of the door's hinge is no longer flush with the exterior body 
panel.
    S14.3 Durability test procedures. For the durability tests 
specified in S14.3.1, S14.3.2, and S14.3.3, the external components are 
mounted on an environmental test fixture.
    S14.3.1 Corrosion test procedure. The external components are 
subjected to two 24-hour corrosion test cycles. In each corrosion test 
cycle, the external components are subjected to a salt spray (fog) test 
in accordance with ASTM

[[Page 19246]]

B117-03 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  571.5) for a period of 24 
hours. Allow 1 hour to elapse without spray between the two test 
cycles.
    S14.3.2 Humidity exposure test procedure. The external components 
are subjected to 24 consecutive 3-hour humidity test cycles. In each 
humidity test cycle, external components are subjected to a temperature 
of 100[deg]+7[deg]-0[deg] F (38[deg]+4[deg]-0[deg] C) with a relative 
humidity of not less than 90% for a period of 2 hours. After a period 
not to exceed 5 minutes, the external components are subjected to a 
temperature of 32[deg] +5[deg] -0[emsp14][deg]F (0[deg] +3[deg] -0[deg] 
C) and a humidity of not more than 30%  10% for 1 hour. 
Allow no more than 5 minutes to elapse between each test cycle.
    S14.3.3 Temperature exposure test procedure. The external 
components are subjected to 4 consecutive 2-hour temperature test 
cycles. In each temperature test cycle, the external components are 
first subjected to a temperature of 176[deg]  
5[emsp14][deg]F (80[deg]  3[deg] C) for a period of one 
hour. After a period not to exceed 5 minutes, the external components 
are subjected to a temperature of 32[deg] +5[deg] -0[emsp14][deg]F 
(0[deg] +3[deg] -0[deg] C) for 1 hour. Allow no more than 5 minutes to 
elapse between each test cycle.
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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR07AP14.003

BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    S15 Rear visibility phase-in schedule. For the purposes of the 
requirements in S15.1 through S15.7, production year means the 12-month 
period between May 1 of one year and April 30 of the following year, 
inclusive.
    S15.1 Vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2016 and before May 
1, 2018. At any time during or after the production years ending April 
30, 2017 and April 30, 2018, each manufacturer shall, upon request from 
the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, provide information 
identifying the vehicles (by make, model and vehicle identification 
number) that have been certified as complying with S5.5.1 or S6.2.1 of 
this standard. The manufacturer's designation of a vehicle as a 
certified vehicle is irrevocable.
    S15.2 Vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2016 and before May 
1, 2017. Except as provided in S15.4, for passenger cars, multipurpose 
passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, and low-speed vehicles with a GVWR 
of 4,536 kg or less, manufactured by a manufacturer on or after May 1, 
2016, and before May

[[Page 19249]]

1, 2017, the number of such vehicles complying with S5.5.1 or S6.2.1 
shall be not less than 10 percent of the manufacturer's--
    (a) Production of such vehicles during that period; or
    (b) Average annual production of such vehicles manufactured in the 
three previous production years.
    S15.3 Vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2017 and before May 
1, 2018. Except as provided in S15.4, for passenger cars, multipurpose 
passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, and low-speed vehicles with a GVWR 
of 4,536 kg or less, manufactured by a manufacturer on or after May 1, 
2017, and before May 1, 2018, the number of such vehicles complying 
with S5.5.1 or S6.2.1 shall be not less than 40 percent of the 
manufacturer's--
    (a) Production of such vehicles during that period; or
    (b) Average annual production of such vehicles manufactured in the 
three previous production years.
    S15.4 Exclusions from phase-in. The following vehicles shall not be 
subject to the requirements in S15.1 through S15.3 but shall achieve 
full compliance with this standard at the end of the phase-in period in 
accordance with S5.5(b) and S6.2(b):
    (a) Vehicles that are manufactured by small manufacturers or by 
limited line manufacturers.
    (b) Vehicles that are altered (within the meaning of 49 CFR 567.7) 
before May 1, 2017, after having been previously certified in 
accordance with part 567 of this chapter, and vehicles manufactured in 
two or more stages before May 1, 2018.
    S15.5 Vehicles produced by more than one manufacturer. For the 
purpose of calculating average annual production of vehicles for each 
manufacturer and the number of vehicles manufactured by each 
manufacturer under S15.1 through S15.3, a vehicle produced by more than 
one manufacturer shall be attributed to a single manufacturer as 
follows, subject to S15.6--
    (a) A vehicle that is imported shall be attributed to the importer.
    (b) A vehicle manufactured in the United States by more than one 
manufacturer, one of which also markets the vehicle, shall be 
attributed to the manufacturer that markets the vehicle.
    S15.6 A vehicle produced by more than one manufacturer shall be 
attributed to any one of the vehicle's manufacturers specified by an 
express written contract, reported to the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration under 49 CFR part 585, between the manufacturer 
so specified and the manufacturer to which the vehicle would otherwise 
be attributed under S15.5.
    S15.7 Calculation of complying vehicles.
    (a) For the purposes of calculating the vehicles complying with 
S15.2, a manufacturer may count a vehicle if it is manufactured on or 
after May 1, 2016 but before May 1, 2017.
    (b) For purposes of complying with S15.3, a manufacturer may count 
a vehicle if it is manufactured on or after May 1, 2017 but before May 
1, 2018 and,
    (c) For the purposes of calculating average annual production of 
vehicles for each manufacturer and the number of vehicles manufactured 
by each manufacturer, each vehicle that is excluded from having to meet 
the applicable requirement is not counted.


0
4. Section 571.500 is amended by adding S5(b)(11) to read as follows:


Sec.  571.500  Standard No. 500; Low-speed vehicles.

* * * * *
    S5. * * *
    (b) * * *
    (11) Low-speed vehicles shall comply with the rear visibility 
requirements specified in paragraphs S6.2 of FMVSS No. 111.

PART 585--PHASE-IN REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

0
5. The authority citation for part 585 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, and 30166; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.


0
6. Add Subpart M to Part 585 to read as follows:

Subpart M--Rear Visibility Improvements Reporting Requirements

Sec.
585.121 Scope.
585.122 Purpose.
585.123 Applicability.
585.124 Definitions.
585.125 Response to inquiries.
585.126 Reporting requirements.
585.127 Records.

Subpart M--Rear Visibility Improvements Reporting Requirements


Sec.  585.121  Scope.

    This part establishes requirements for manufacturers of passenger 
cars, of trucks, buses, multipurpose passenger vehicles and low-speed 
vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 kilograms 
(kg) (10,000 pounds (lb)) or less, to submit a report, and maintain 
records related to the report, concerning the number of such vehicles 
that meet the rear visibility requirements in paragraphs S5.5 and S6.2 
of Standard No. 111, Rear visibility (49 CFR 571.111).


Sec.  585.122  Purpose.

    The purpose of these reporting requirements is to assist the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in determining whether a 
manufacturer has complied with the rear visibility requirements in 
paragraphs S5.5 and S6.2 of Standard No. 111, Rear visibility (49 CFR 
571.111).


Sec.  585.123  Applicability.

    This part applies to manufacturers of passenger cars, of trucks, 
buses, multipurpose passenger vehicles and low-speed vehicles with a 
gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 kilograms (kg) (10,000 
pounds (lb)) or less.


Sec.  585.124  Definitions.

    (a) All terms defined in 49 U.S.C. 30102 are used in their 
statutory meaning.
    (b) Bus, gross vehicle weight rating or GVWR, low-speed vehicle, 
multipurpose passenger vehicle, passenger car, and truck are used as 
defined in Sec.  571.3 of this chapter.
    (c) Production year means the 12-month period between May 1 of one 
year and April 30 of the following year, inclusive.


Sec.  585.125  Response to inquiries.

    At anytime during the production years ending April 30, 2017, and 
April 30, 2018, each manufacturer shall, upon request from the Office 
of Vehicle Safety Compliance, provide information identifying the 
vehicles (by make, model and vehicle identification number) that have 
been certified as complying with the rear visibility requirements in 
paragraphs S5.5 and S6.2 of Standard No. 111, Rear visibility (49 CFR 
571.111). The manufacturer's designation of a vehicle as a certified 
vehicle is irrevocable.


Sec.  585.126  Reporting requirements.

    (a) Phase-in reporting requirements. Within 60 days after the end 
of each of the production years ending April 30, 2017 and April 30, 
2018, each manufacturer shall submit a report to the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration concerning its compliance with the rear 
visibility requirements in paragraphs S5.5 and S6.2 of Standard No. 111 
(49 CFR 571.111) for its vehicles produced in that year. Each report 
shall provide the

[[Page 19250]]

information specified in paragraph (b) of this section and in Sec.  
585.2 of this part.
    (b) Phase-in report content-- (1) Basis for phase-in production 
goals. Each manufacturer shall provide the number of vehicles 
manufactured in the current production year, or, at the manufacturer's 
option, in each of the three previous production years. A new 
manufacturer that is, for the first time, manufacturing vehicles for 
sale in the United States must report the number of vehicles 
manufactured during the current production year.
    (2) Production of complying vehicles. Each manufacturer shall 
report, for the production year being reported on, information on the 
number of vehicles that meet the rear visibility requirements in 
paragraphs S5.5 and S6.2 of Standard No. 111 (49 CFR 571.111).


Sec.  585.127  Records.

    Each manufacturer shall maintain records of the Vehicle 
Identification Number for each vehicle for which information is 
reported under Sec.  585.126 until April 30, 2022.

    Issued in Washington DC, on March 31, 2014 under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR part 1.95.
David J. Friedman,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-07469 Filed 4-1-14; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P