A group of car manufacturers, including Waymo, Cruise, Ford, and General Motors, has asked the US authorities to amend existing laws to allow the introduction of cars of the future. One of the main requirements is official permission to release vehicles without traditional controls, such as steering wheels and pedals.
“We urge the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] to immediately remove existing barriers,” wrote David Quinalty, Head of Federal Policy and Government Relations at Waymo.
This statement is in response to a request by the NHTSA for public comment on a proposal to amend the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards - a list of 75 rules that car manufacturers must follow to release vehicles. Now there is a point according to which cars should be equipped with a steering wheel and pedals.
However, according to automakers, self-driving cars do not need these controls, and existing rules can be a hindrance to the widespread dissemination of new technology. Companies argue that an autonomous vehicle can only operate safely if a person is completely excluded from control.
Interestingly, Waymo, which is considered one of the leaders in the field of self-driving cars, is testing its autonomous models with drivers behind the wheel, who can take control in their own hands if necessary. In addition, a large number of activists urge the NHTSA to devote as much time as possible to a thorough discussion of the proposed changes. Thus, the Center for Automotive Safety questions permission to produce cars without traditional controls. According to experts, self-driving cars are a new technology and may take decades to spread widely.
Despite the call by automakers to amend the legislation as soon as possible, this can take years. According to Reuters, changing various security standards may take at least 5 years.