The future dominated by autonomous cars is significantly closer this week, after the Americans legislated cars without manual controls, mechanisms such as steering wheel or accelerator pedals, brake.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the U.S. authority responsible for the legislation behind the legality of cars on the streets, among other things. The law in question is entitled Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and has just received a major update. Although it will be several years before fully autonomous cars can be purchased “for free”, from now on, at least in the US, manufacturers will be able to remove the steering wheel and pedals from the construction of a car.
What the law says about autonomous cars without steering wheel and pedals
“Over the next decade, an important part of the legislative activity [a Ministerului Transporturilor] It will be to ensure that safety standards keep pace with the development of the autonomous and assisted driving system, ”said Pete Buttigieg, US Secretary of Transportation, the equivalent of the Romanian Minister of Transport. “The new rule is an important step in this direction, setting robust safety standards for equipped vehicles [cu sisteme de conducere automată]”The official added.
For reference, in the United States, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards regulate all elements of a car’s production. According to the latest updates to the relevant legislation, whether or not they have a steering wheel or pedals, vehicles with automated driving systems must offer the same level of safety and protection to the driver and passengers as any other car.
It is important to note that although the legislation seems to be ready for the fully autonomous cars of the future, with a level 5 of autonomy, at the moment, we are only talking about level 2 on the streets. Tesla offers level 2 autonomy, incorporating several driving features without the intervention of the driver, but he must still be present at the wheel to take control of the maneuvers, if necessary. Volkswagen has detailed a version of ID.Buzz with level four autonomy, but it is not clear when or if it will hit the streets.