GM's driverless fleet should be held to high safety bar

May 31, 2019

Federal regulators shouldn't allow manufacturers of autonomous vehicles to skimp on safety, IIHS said in a recent comment.

IIHS Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby responded to a request for comment by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding a petition by General Motors. GM has asked NHTSA to waive certain safety requirements for a fleet of driverless cars that it plans to deploy for ride-sharing.

Among other things, GM should be required to design the vehicle so that it won't begin a trip unless all passengers are belted, Zuby wrote. He also voiced the Institute's objection to GM's request that the vehicle be exempt from the requirement for high beams. Zuby noted that the cameras GM intends to use for some of the vehicle's functions depend on light.    

The comment also asked that GM be required to share field safety performance data for the autonomous fleet, as well as crash test results, with the public.

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