Here's another example proving technology companies, including self-driving carmakers, are out of touch with reality. Self-driving can be a cool thing, but even airplanes can't be on autopilot 100% of the time. These carmakers are watching too much science fiction movies. Providing a manual override is a must for safety reasons. Maybe a hundred years from now when, hopefully, the vast majority of our infrastructure and environment is safe enough for robots to navigate… sure… but not today. If anything, regulators should put the strictest regulation they could devise, and maybe lax some after the industry has proven itself. The riding public doesn't have to die to boost these runaway techies ego. Safety comes first.
New York (The Verge) — Self-driving carmakers urge regulators to whiff the steering wheel out the window theverge.com/2019/8/30/2084….
The federal government should rewrite the safety rules for automobile manufacturing so self-driving carmakers can deploy vehicles without traditional controls like steering wheels and pedals — and they should be quick about it, according to public comments from Waymo, GM’s Cruise and other top auto and tech companies.
“We urge [the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration] to move ahead promptly to remove the regulatory barriers the agency has identified,” David Quinalty, head of federal policy and government affairs at Waymo, wrote in a letter posted online on Thursday.
The letter is in response to a request for public comment by the NHTSA to a proposal it made last May to amend the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, a list of 75 rules that automakers must follow before selling cars to customers. Currently, those rules state that cars need to have controls such as a steering wheel and pedals.
But self-driving cars may not need these controls, proponents say, and the rules could be a hindrance to the technology being widely released at scale. Waymo and others like Cruise, the self-driving division of GM, and Ford hope to inevitably release tens of thousands of driverless cars without any human controls. Only by cutting the human completely out of the equation can an autonomous vehicle operate safely, these companies argue. And the NHTSA is considering rewriting the rules so self-driving car companies like Waymo can release cars without those features. — Andrew J. Hawkins/@verge