Would removing all vehicle controls make self-driving cars safer?

Google’s self-driving cars arm wants to remove all controls from their autonomous taxis to enable them to carry one more passenger

Would removing all vehicle controls make self-driving cars safer?

GOOGLE’S self-driving cars arm, Alphabet, is hoping to remove the legislation that’s in place that requires controls to be fitted in autonomous taxis.

The company at the heart of the story is called Waymo, who already operate the autonomous taxis in the suburbs of Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert in Phoenix. They now want to be able to completely remove any human controls from the vehicles so they can carry one extra passenger.

It is the wish of Waymo to speed up the rate at which the legislation is being put through to enable them to faster develop their autonomous vehicles.

The Federal Register Website explains further:

“NHTSA is seeking public comment on the near- and long-term challenges of testing and verifying compliance with existing crash avoidance (100-series) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) for Automated Driving System-Dedicated Vehicles (ADS-DVs) that lack traditional manual controls necessary for a human driver to maneuver the vehicle and other features intended to facilitate operation of a vehicle by a human driver, but that are otherwise traditional vehicles with typical seating configurations.”

Are autonomous vehicles like Waymo safe for motorcyclists?

One of the main concerns, with removing all the controls that a human can interact with, is that the passengers in the vehicle must now solely rely on the electronic fail safe system in the taxi – which as we already know don’t pick up all road users (like motorcyclists and cyclists) well and in some cases at all!

At least a human sat within a taxi, the passenger still has the option to step in and take evasive action if needed.

Would you trust a taxi with no steering wheel? Let us know in the comments below.

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