|Posted:||March 1, 2018 04:48 PM|
|From:||Senator Patrick M. Browne|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Authorization for Use of Automated Work Zone Vehicles by PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission and Platooning of Motor Carrier Vehicles|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would authorize the use of highly automated work zone vehicles by PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission (PATC) and allow for the platooning of motor carrier vehicles.
First, this legislation would authorize the use of highly automated work zone vehicles by PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission (PATC). A highly automated work zone vehicle is a motor vehicle equipped with an automated driving system, or connected by wireless communication or other technology to another vehicle, allowing for coordinated or controlled movement, used in an active work zone as implemented by PennDOT or the Turnpike Commission. Automated work zone vehicles are fully autonomous vehicles that protect workers from injury or death caused by other motorists. The automated vehicles operate without a driver by following a PennDOT/PATC maintenance vehicle that has been outfitted with hardware to communicate its actions to the automated vehicle. This legislation would authorize PennDOT or the Turnpike Commission to authorize locations in Pennsylvania, on a periodic basis, to permit the deployment of a highly automated work zone vehicle.
Second, this legislation provides for platooning of motor carrier vehicles. A platoon is a group of individual military vehicles or motor carrier vehicles operated by a human traveling in a unified manner at electronically coordinated speeds at following distances that are closer than would be reasonable and prudent without such coordination. Platooning motor carrier vehicles travel in a unified manner at electronically coordinated speeds while drivers retain steering control and command of the vehicle. Platooning motor carrier vehicles must be marked with a visual identifier on the power unit, guidelines for which shall be published in the PA Bulletin by the department, after consultation with the State Police.
Title 75, section 3310, currently prohibits the driver of a motor vehicle from following another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent. This legislation would exempt the non-lead vehicles in a platoon from being subject to the provisions of section 3310 (relating to following too closely). In addition, the legislation provides that a maximum of three vehicles shall be in a platoon; provides that vehicles in a platoon shall travel only on limited access highways or interstate highways, unless otherwise posted; and, provides that PennDOT or the Turnpike Commission shall have the ability to restrict movement under this section during inclement weather, as determined by department regulations.
Introduced as SB1096