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NHTSA Considers Changes to Encourage Self-Driving Car Development

April 01, 2020

USA- writes that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering making changes to its safety regulations in an effort to aid self-driving car deployment around the country.*

The agency is considering altering eleven safety standards that are related to the requirement of manual controls. By modifying the regulations, autonomous vehicles may be built without any manual driving features. The vehicles would be used to deliver goods and not to transport any people. As such, many mandatory features would no longer be necessary. For instance, door locks, seats, steering controls protection for occupants in an impact, child restraint anchors, and roof crush resistance would be unwarranted for these specific type of self-driving vehicles.

The NHSA has received some criticism for the move and its timing, with a representative from the Center for Auto Safety arguing that the move may not be safe. GM approached the NHTSA in 2018, requesting a waiver of the safety regulations in order to road-test 2,500 vehicles. The NHTSA has not responded to the request. 

Several manufacturers are trying to get self-driving technology on the road, but the public is not completely accepting of the move. Collisions involving the vehicles have increased anxiety about the possibility of the cars not being ready or safe to test. A recent survey found that only nine percent of people would likely purchase a self-driving car if they were currently on the market. 

The proposed changes would not impact cars that are intended to carry people, but only to cover driverless vehicles, such as ones transporting goods. In February, the NHTSA approved a request to deploy 5,000 autonomous vehicles from company, Nuro Inc. The vehicles do not have common car features such as steering wheels or mirrors. 

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Sources: and

Category: Auto Accidents

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