Waymo Pleads With NHTSA To Remove Requirements For Steering Wheels

Waymo has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remove regulatory barriers for vehicles without steering wheels and brake pedals, Reuters reports.

The self-driving division of Alphabet has been encouraging the NHTSA to loosen regulatory hurdles for autonomous vehicles that require car manufacturers to meet nearly 75 auto safety standards.

In a recent letter published in response to the NHTSA seeking public comment “on the removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers to the safe introduction of automated driving systems,” Waymo said the safety agency should look at the safety standards which assume a human is behind the wheel and proceed from there. By doing so, Waymo says regulation changes will “enable the timely deployment” of vehicles without traditional controls.

Also Read: Waymo Taking Its Autonomous Prototypes To Florida For Hurricane Season Testing

Waymo is not the only company asking for changes from the NHTSA. General Motors said “it is imperative that NHTSA continue to drive this critical dialogue with a sense of urgency so that the necessary regulatory evolution keeps pace with advancing technology.”

Similarly, both Lyft and Honda suggested the agency considers autonomous cars as a distinct vehicle class to help address current regulations shaped for cars with human drivers.

It will, however, take some time for such changes to be implemented. The NHTSA allegedly won’t start writing rules on different seating positions in passenger cars until March 2020, and it could take until 2025 before comprehensive changes are made to vehicle safety standards relating to autonomous vehicles.

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  • Alduin

    I sense a massive lawsuit once someone dies in one of their autonomous cars. You have to be an idiot to even trust GM/Waymo to have their autonomous software drive you anywhere. Also no steering wheel or brake pedals? Yeah this is someones death just waiting to happen. Some people should stop being lazy and get their licences taken away from them (the ones who don’t know how to drive) we wouldn’t be dealing with crap like this in the first place.

  • JAGUAR AS A PUBLICITY STUNT, WANTED TO CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF CAR. MAYBE THESE THINGS SHOULDN’T BE CALLED CARS AT ALL. PODS PERHAPS.

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