Image via The Verge

General Motors and Ford have separately requested exemptions from US safety regulators regarding deploying self-driving vehicles without steering wheels and brakes. Both OEMs seek to deploy 2,500 cars per year, the maximum permitted by law, for ride-sharing and delivery services.

A spokesperson for Ford stated, “The petition is an important step toward helping create a regulatory path that allows autonomous technologies to mature over time, eliminating controls and displays that are only useful to human drivers.”

GM filed its petition in February for its self-driving technology unit Cruise, which plans to launch a robotaxi without steering wheels, mirrors, turn signals, or windshield wipers. Ford similarly sent in a petition back in July 2021. Ford hopes to deploy self-driving vehicles for delivery purposes and packaging. 

GM is also working on an electric vehicle with subway-like doors and no steering wheels. This vehicle will not start without all passengers buckling themselves in for safety. NHTSA Administrator Steven Cliff is looking through the petitions carefully with a team to ensure that the vehicles are safe for users and those sharing the road.


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