Law & Order

NHTSA Issues Safety Rules for Autonomous Vehicles Without Driving Controls

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a final rule to update the occupant protection Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to account for autonomous vehicles. The rule updates the FMVSS to clarify the standards automakers are held to when manufacturing autonomous vehicles that don’t require traditional driving controls, such as a steering wheel and brake pedal. Vehicles that are equipped with automated driving systems (ADS) technology must provide the same level of occupant crash protection as current passenger vehicles.

Fully autonomous vehicles using ADS technology differ from advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like lane-departure warnings and automatic emergency braking that are becoming commonplace on all new passenger vehicles. There are currently no fully autonomous passenger vehicles available for sale.

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