New Zero-Passenger Autonomous Delivery Vehicles Entering Roadway
USA- Pbs.org writes that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has approved new low-speed autonomous delivery vehicles to travel on the roadway with no human occupants. The vehicles are not capable of transporting people and lack many of the features that are typically associated with cars. There will be no steering wheel, no windshield wipers, no rear-view mirrors, and no brakes. The robotic delivery vehicles simply do not need most features that humans require to operate a vehicle. Nuro, the robotics manufacturer, says that the vehicles can be controlled by humans from a remote location if necessary. *
The administration has stated that it does not want to impede technological innovations. Nuro is under strict reporting requirements and must be heavily involved with the NHTSA by holding frequent safety meetings. The company is also tasked with reaching out to communities in places where the vehicles will be on the road.
Reports indicate that the initial deployment will involve fewer than 100 vehicles, although the NHTSA has permitted eventually to run a maximum of 2,500 total. The vehicles will travel under 25 miles per hour. To those who fear pedestrian crashes, the company stated that the vehicle is designed to collapse on its front end to protect pedestrians. The new vehicles also are equipped with temperature controls to keep perishable goods and meals fresh.
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