FMCSA Modifies Guidance to Authorize Use of AOBRD Software

- On March 9, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revised its guidance that had previously prohibited the installation and use of Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (“AOBRDs”) in vehicles added to a motor carrier’s fleet after December 18, 2017, the effective date of the Electronic Logging Device (“ELD”) rule. The revised guidance permits carriers that had installed and required their drivers to use AOBRDs prior to December 18, 2017, to continue to install and use new ELD-capable devices running AOBRD software until December 16, 2019.

This revision is likely in response to several exemption and waiver petitions filed by motor carriers over the past several weeks, which exposed serious concerns over the lack of integration between some manufacturers’ ELD platforms and the carriers’ back-office fleet management systems. As a result of those petitions, the FMCSA had earlier granted a temporary 90-day waiver to carriers that had adopted the PeopleNet AOBRD platform and wished to continue to install those devices in vehicles added to their fleet after the ELD compliance date. The agency’s revised guidance appears to extend that same relief to all carriers that had adopted AOBRDs prior to the ELD compliance date, regardless of the manufacturer of those devices.

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