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US Set to Reach Decision on Self-Driving Car Launch

You are currently viewing US Set to Reach Decision on Self-Driving Car Launch
Self-driving cars are officially not just a thing of the future; they are here and ready to drive!
  • Post category:News

General Motors’ brand Cruise petitioned the United States government to let them launch their self-driving technology in periodic phases. Annually, the car manufacturer wishes to release 2,500 self-driving vehicles. Originally this petition was filed by General Motors back in February of 2022 and has been pending government response since then.  The vehicles that would launch would not look like any car we are used to, lacking a steering wheel, mirrors, turn signals, and windshield wipers. This week the government entity responsible for ruling on this matter, the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, announced that they are beginning to determine this case and will issue the determination soon.

The biggest debate the NHTSA is having is whether or not these vehicles have to abide by the same safety standards the typical car abides by.

The understanding is that Cruise would release their original vehicle model, consisting of sliding doors resembling a Subway and no steering wheel. They already have a select fleet of vehicles operating as tests in San Francisco, providing rides as a car service, like Uber.

Previously Cruise petitioned the NHTSA, in 2018. In that attempt, they pushed for their model, built on a modified base of a Chevrolet Bolt. The model had no steering wheel or brake pedal. They petitioned them to be allowed on the streets throughout the country. The department never issued a determination, so they withdrew this petition in 2020, eventually relaunching the petition attempt in 2022.

In their determination process, the NHTSA may rule self-driving cars exempt due to their research and demonstration benefits.

Self-driving cars have reached a point of reality so close to us that Congress has also been tossing around the idea of issuing a determination on the matter themselves. The House of Representatives for the country has a subcommittee formed that is expected to hold a hearing soon. The House has previously made rulings on self-driving-related issues, passing a law regarding the speed at which we adapt to self-driving cars in our society. They banned states from requiring vehicles to meet certain standards in order to operate within their state.

It is hard to determine which way the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency will lean. Some feel confident they will green light these autonomous vehicles, while others remain hopeful that they do not as they fear for our future with them.

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