NSPE has challenged two automakers and federal regulators over public safety issues in the companies’ development of autonomous vehicles. On May 14, NSPE questioned petitions from General Motors and Nuro Inc. that seek exemptions from vehicle safety requirements (such as having a steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, and a gearshift) for the AVs they are developing.
In reviewing the petitions filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NSPE found a lack of detail regarding how the companies’ vehicles will actively and successfully protect the general public in a variety of scenarios. NSPE urged NHTSA to require more details from both companies before granting the requested exemptions. NSPE also strongly recommended that professional engineers be placed in responsible charge of all aspects of autonomous vehicle development and deployment that affect public health, safety, and welfare.