[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 83 (Monday, April 30, 2012)]
[Pages 25533-25534]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10300]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0046]

Agency Requests for Approval of a New Information Collection(s): 
Human Subjects Experiments Related to Keyless Ignition Controls, Gear 
Selection Controls, and Audible Warnings

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

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) invites public comments 
about our intention to request Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
approval for a new information collection. The collection involves 
recruitment of participants, balancing the subject sample and 
debriefing questionnaires. The information to be collected will be used 
to balance the participants between younger and older age groups, 
genders and previous driving experience with keyless ignition, or lack 
thereof. These observational experiments are being conducted in support 
of current agency regulatory efforts that contemplate revising Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 114 (Docket No. NHTSA-2011-0174 RIN 
2127-AK88). We are required to publish this notice in the Federal 
Register by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13.

DATES: Written comments should be submitted by June 29, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments [identified by Docket No. NHTSA-
2012-0046] through one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1 (202) 493-2251
     Mail or Hand Delivery: Docket Management Facility, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West 
Building, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gayle Dalrymple, NVS-123, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. 
Phone: 202-366-5559. Email: [email protected].

    OMB Control Number: 2127-New.
    Title: Human Subjects Experiments Related to Keyless Ignition 
Controls, Gear Selection Controls and Audible Warnings.
    Form Numbers: n/a.
    Type of Review: New Information Collection.
    Background: NHTSA has initiated research and rulemaking to address 
these issues related to consumer confusion when using ignition systems 
in which there is no physical key: Inability to shut off the engine 
and/or shift to neutral during unintended acceleration events, leaving 
the vehicle not in ``park'' and inadvertently leaving the vehicle 
without shutting off the propulsion system.\1\ Evaluations of driver 
use of push-button start/stop controls and electronically shifted 
transmissions are required to support this rulemaking.

    \1\ Docket NHTSA-2011-0174 available at www.regulations.gov.

    Human factors observational experiments are proposed to examine 
these issues. The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe 
Center), which is a component of the U.S. DOT, Research and Innovative 
Technology Administration (RITA), has been funded to conduct this 
research under an Inter-Agency Agreement (IAA) with NHTSA. Under a task 
order contract with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 
these experiments will be conducted in a simulator at the Volpe Center 
by staff of the MIT Age Lab. The collection of information consists of: 
(1) Recruitment material and a brief eligibility questionnaire for 
applicants and (2) debriefing questionnaire for participants. Applicant 
responses to the eligibility questionnaire will be used to balance the 
subject sample demographically and between drivers who are na[iuml]ve 
to keyless ignition, and those who are not. Subjects will be paid $20 
to $75 depending on the required time commitment, and will be tested 
and debriefed individually. The purpose of the debriefing is to probe 
for insights into the factors that led to errors in the simulated 
driving and participant reactions to mitigation measures such as 
audible alarms.
    Respondents: The Age Lab has conducted numerous experiments related 
to driving instrumented research vehicles and simulators, and has a 
panel of more than 7,000 persons in the Boston area who have indicated 
they would like to be participants in future experiments. Whenever the 
Age Lab has a new experiment, an email blast is sent to all members of 
this panel. The email

[[Page 25534]]

consists of a one-paragraph description of the experiment and the 
eligibility requirements, along with a reply button that connects 
respondents to the eligibility questionnaire. Typically, more persons 
apply than are needed. Staff members from the Age Lab then contact 
applicants individually by email to match them with available time 
slots. For these experiments, the subject pool will be balanced across 
age and gender. About two-thirds of the subjects will be na[iuml]ve to 
cars with keyless ignition systems, while one-third will be owners of 
vehicles with keyless ignitions systems.
    For evaluation of auditory warnings to prevent vehicle roll-away, a 
very short test (one response per subject) is proposed. This testing 
will be conducted in stationary vehicles in public parking lots using a 
convenience sample drawn from passers-by.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: ~135 for keyless/PRNDL experiment. 
~240 for roll-away warning experiment.
    Estimated Number of Responses: One response per respondent to 7 to 
10 questions
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: Three minutes per respondent to 
consider and respond to recruiting questions (18.75 hours total for 
number of respondents needed for study, but a substantially larger and 
unknown number may respond).
    Estimated Frequency: One time
    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of 
this information collection, including (a) Whether the proposed 
collection of information is necessary for the Department's 
performance, (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (c) ways for the 
Department to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the 
information collection and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized 
without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency 
will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's 
clearance of this information collection.

    Authority:  The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35, as amended; and 49 CFR 1:48.

    Issued on: April 24, 2012.
Christopher J. Bonanti,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2012-10300 Filed 4-27-12; 8:45 am]