The U.S. Department of Transportation is reportedly considering allowing cars with no steering wheels or brake pedals to operate on public roads. General Motors has asked the agency for an exemption from the requirement of having a human operator in its test vehicles as well.
AutoNews.com reports that shortly after the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao stated that she wanted the department to become more “innovation friendly,” the department is looking into allowing vehicles with no steering wheels or brake pedals to operate on public roads. On Friday, the department issued a request for comment on a petition from General Motors which seeks an exemption from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards which assumes that a human driver is operating a vehicle.
GM requested the exemption in January 2018 as part of its research into self-driving cars; along with a number of other auto manufacturers GM has waited nearly 15 months for a response to the request. Members of the public now have 60 days to comment on GM’s request, after that time the Transportation Department will begin to formulate rules based on the petition.