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Self-driving cars without steering wheels to be allowed on US roads

By midian182 · 11 replies
Oct 8, 2018
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  1. Within the guidelines of the 80-page report, called “Automated vehicles 3.0,” the NHTSA writes that it "intends to reconsider the necessity and appropriateness of its current safety standards" when it comes to self-driving vehicles.

    The NHTSA said the safety requirements currently in place for self-driving cars could "constitute an unintended regulatory barrier to innovation." The agency will seek comment on the proposed changes and consider "the possibility of setting exceptions to certain standards."

    Automakers have to meet over 70 automotive safety standards in the US, most of which assume the presence of a human driver. But regulator will no longer make this assumption, especially when it comes to trucks and buses.

    The news will no doubt be welcomed by General Motors, which, according to Reuters, filed a petition earlier in the year to allow vehicles without steering wheels or pedals to become part of its ride-sharing service launching in 2019. Waymo plans a similar autonomous service in Arizona this year, though its vehicles will have human controls—even though nobody will be behind the wheels.

    The self-driving car industry fell under the spotlight after one of Uber’s autonomous vehicles was involved in a crash that killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona. The aftermath of the accident saw several autonomous car projects temporarily halt testing on public roads. But the NHTSA's report does acknowledge that self-driving cars have the potential to reduce accidents and road-related deaths.

    Permalink to story.

  2. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 512   +404

    Um... no. Just no.
    GreenNova343 likes this.
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,523   +1,733

    And when one of those finicky sensors goes wrong, as they tend to do at the worst possible time, you will be trapped in an out of control metal box that you have 0 method of controlling.

    Enjoy your horror show.
    GreenNova343 and trparky like this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,249   +3,661

    The old folks appreciate the foresight ..... bring it on!
  5. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 732   +281

    Will still require redundancy, as systems and chips fail.
  6. m3tavision

    m3tavision TS Maniac Posts: 237   +167

    Throw a beach ball in front of one... and watch how computers don't know how to react. NHTSA is not looking out for "We the People...", but instead of Corporations.
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Does these self-driving cars speak to the client who gets into them. I would be worried if someone drove into one of these selfies.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,153   +1,411

    And if the corporations build something far safer for the people and the govt says it's OK to use (not forcing anyone... just saying it's OK) how is that not looking out for the people?

    Know what else an autonomous car won't do? It won't get on the freeway going the wrong direction at 1am because it's drunk. it won't text while driving through a school zone. It won't fall asleep at the wheel and drive into a tree. Over 40,000 people died in 2017 from car crashes.. making autonomous cars safer than human drivers is a pretty low bar to clear.

    The sad part is one day someone will die in one and the news will report it like it's the worst thing ever and we should never be allowed to use them. Fact is, about 100 people die every day in cars in the US, most of them due to driver error.

    A conservative guess would be autonomous cars will be at least 10 times safer than human drivers.
  9. Abraka

    Abraka TS Addict Posts: 176   +54

    I hope they won't have an Intel CPU inside. Or network. Or anything else that is prone to hacking.

    Wishful thinking, ha?
  10. Milest

    Milest TS Rookie

    Vehicles without steering wheels would be less attractive to carjackers.
  11. m3tavision

    m3tavision TS Maniac Posts: 237   +167

    Who wants to get in a vehicle they own... and not be bothered to drive..? Or is unable to drive..? Why OWN it, when you can call Uber, cab or take a bus..!

    Most (if not all) the people who fall asleep at the wheel can't afford $60k cars.. your points are utterly moot.

    Better question is: Who are these incapable people, who do not know how to drive..? But have $60k for a car..? Where is the market for these..?
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,153   +1,411

    Who wants to own a car they can't drive? Lots of people, like parents of teenagers, or the elderly or someone who's likes to drink and still needs a ride home. Or anyone with a long commute who would prefer to read or use their phone instead of pay attention in traffic. And who cares where the market is - let the companies trying to sell the things worry about that - this is only a rule saying they are allowed to sell these cars.

    We wouldn't be forced to buy a car we can't drive. I'm sure there will be a market for drive-able cars far past our lifetimes.

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