According to a recent article from Reuters, Ford and General Motors(GM) have filed documents to the United States auto safety regulators and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) to allow manual control-less cars. According to the documents, these cars would have no steering wheels or break pedals in most cases.
Both GM and Ford are planing to deploy up to 2,500 self-driving vehicles in the next year which is the current maximum possible under the current laws. The only stipulation: these vehicles are not for consumers, rather, they are for delivery service and ride hailing companies(Taxi, Uber, etc…).
GM’s request to the NHTSA goes even further to ask that the vehicles be without mirrors, turn signals, or windshield wipers. Ford had initially submitted their request in 2021 but it was not made public until this past Wednesday. GM’s planing on deploying a specific vehicle platform called the “Cruise Origin” with subway like features that would require all passengers to be seated with their seat belts securely fastened before the vehicles could move.
Ford’s request differs in that it requested the autonomous car to be a hybrid-electric car designed around previously mentioned taxi services and delivery services.
Both GM and Ford think this petition is critical in moving self driving vehicles forward with new laws and regulations. If passed these petitions will greatly advance the research and development of autonomous technology. Steven Cliff, Administrator for the NHTSA said that the NHTSA:
“will carefully examine each petition to ensure safety is prioritized and to include considerations of access for people with disabilities, equity, and the environment.”
You can also check out the Undecided video on this topic here.