Consumer Watchdog Calls on NHTSA to Mandate Manual Control on Autonomous Vehicles on Public Safety Grounds

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By James Hodgson | 4Q 2015 | IN-3903

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The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in the process of revaluating its policy governing the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads. This is the result of an order from U.S. Transport Secretary Tony Foxx to update the policy to take into account advancements in technology since the first iteration was devised in 2013, and to hasten the development of a potentially life-saving innovation.

In response, the U.S. Consumer Watchdog has called on NHSTA to “put public safety first,” and has suggested two key policies to achieve this: require all autonomous prototypes to be equipped with all of the passive safety measures currently mandated on cars, and have all autonomous prototypes fitted with the conventional steering wheel and pedals, such that the driver is always in ultimate control. 

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