GM Encourages NHTSA To Set New Safety Standards For AVs Without Controls6
General Motors has submitted a comment to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encouraging the agency to establish new guidelines for autonomous vehicles that lack a steering wheel and gas/brake pedals.
NHTSA asked automotive manufacturers and other autonomous vehicle technology companies to submit comments regarding changing regulations to include specific framework for AVs. GM was among several that encouraged new rules for vehicles without a traditional steering wheel or brake and gas pedals in its comments, along with Google’s autonomous vehicle offshoot Alphabet.
“GM/Cruise supports NHTSA establishing new definitions that apply only to ADS-DVs (Automated Driving System Dedicated Vehicles) without manual controls,” the automaker’s comment said. “It would allow NHTSA to clearly delineate, where necessary, the requirements that apply to ADS-DV versus those that apply to traditional vehicles. Expanding upon this approach, NHTSA may want to consider creating a new series of FMVSS requirements that apply to vehicles operated by an ADS-DV without traditional controls.”
Put more simply, GM wants NHTSA to consider writing a new set of regulations that pertain to autonomous vehicles without controls, as this will allow the automaker to develop its self-driving cars with a specific framework in mind. Without the laws being written, it’s difficult for GM to properly proceed in the development of the vehicles, as it may begin to develop in a direction that is later deemed to fall outside of NHTSA regulations.
Comments like GM’s will be taken into consideration by NHTSA regulators as they write new rules pertaining to self-driving vehicles and AVs. In addition to Waymo and GM, Lyft also encouraged the safety agency to write new rules specifically for AVs without traditional controls, saying it should “remove regulatory barriers and modify [safety standards] that reference a human driver and/or assume some manual control element within the test procedure.”
As CNBC points out, however, not all who submitted comments to NHTSA were onboard with the idea of AVs that lack controls. The Center for Auto Safety, a Washington-based consumer advocacy group, said there “there is no demonstrable evidence” that AVs without controls “can safely operate on (and off) America’s roads.”
GM previously said it would launch a self-driving robotaxi service under Cruise before the end of 2019, which would be complete with AVs that had no steering wheel or pedals. The automaker later backtracked on the lofty plan, however, delaying the rollout of the service indefinitely and heading back to the drawing board with regard to its steering wheel-less Cruise AV prototype.
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I think we as buyers should be committed to getting rid of current GM leadership.
Just say no.
Those of us with common sense.
The NHTSA can only say no for one and only one market.
If the rest of the world is open to AV and markets for them grow, the NHTSA will fall in line as the domestic automakers won’t want to be left behind at the behest of other AV automakers with a competitive and technological advantage.
Besides, it’s in the mandate of an organization who motto is “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes” to consider and adopt AV’s. And even if the NHTSA is acting outside it’s mandate and is largely an oversight body that seeks to preserve favourable market conditions for US automakers, they can’t stay isolated forever if the demand for AV reaches American markets.
The problem is that nobody can make a blanket statement that AVs are safer unless there are equal numbers of them and traditional vehicles on the roads driving under the same circumstances. AVs may have nailed 999,999 out of 1 Million possible scenarios that will be encountered on the roads, but that one may be the scenario that causes tens of thousands of deaths.
And you think humans can equal or better a pass rate of 999,999 out of 1,000,000? Human drivers can barely agree amongst each other over who has the right of way at a split drive-thru.
Furthermore, if your roads are so dangerous that a scenario arises on them that can cause the deaths of “tens of thousands”, then your country needs AV’s immediately. Not even roads in Russia are that bad.
If you can name this kind of disaster, please do. In fact, what kind of a car accident would kill even 1000 drivers? There was the Salang tunnel fire of 1982, but look how many human drivers were unaware and uncoordinated in their actions? If only their cars could have communicated with each other before they entered the tunnel.
No person, should be left without control of a vehicle. I don’t care how advanced our technology is. I am ok with autonomous driving but no pedals or steering wheels for emergencies is too risky imo.