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Would You Ever Buy A Car Without A Steering Wheel?

Autonomous Car / 14 Comments

Because that's what this company wants to sell you.

Waymo, Google's self-driving car arm, is pushing for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to "promptly" remove the regulations blocking cars being built without steering wheels and brake pedals. Autoblog reports that a letter from Waymo to the NHTSA after the automotive safety agency sought public comment says, "NHTSA should move promptly to remove barriers while ensuring safety on the removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers to the safe introduction of automated driving systems."

via Waymo
via Waymo
via Waymo

This is closely following the news we recently reported on Waymo testing vehicles in the rain in Florida to try and overcome the problem of inclement weather confusing the sensors that guide the cars.

The NHTSA has been working on the complex issues around autonomous vehicles where their needs to be a balance of public safety requirements being met while also allowing the companies invested in autonomous tech to push the boundaries so they can develop the systems.

Ford appears to be just as gung-ho as Waymo, and in its comments said its cars: "will be responsible for deciding when, where and how it is appropriate to drive," and that the company does "... not foresee interfaces beyond a method of giving the vehicle a destination."

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via Ford
via Ford

However, both Ford and GM points out that its self-driving vehicles will initially not be able to respond to human commands like "drive up onto a car hauler" or "drive forward 10 feet and stop." Anyone that uses voice recognition devices will currently be raising their eyebrows at the idea of telling their car to drive itself into the garage.

Comments filed by automakers suggest that it will be at least 2025 before the NTHSA will be able to complete a rewrite of relevant safety standards.

via GM
via GM

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