A letter released to the public on Thursday, from the Ford Motor Company to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding automated driving systems is eye opener. While not giving up on “self-driving cars” Ford appears to be dialing back their testing and investment.
In the letter, Ford formally withdraws a petition seeking U.S. regulatory approval to deploy up to 2,500 self-driving vehicles annually without required human controls like steering wheels. Ford states, “We believe the road to fully autonomous vehicles, at scale, with a profitable business model, will be a long one."
In December, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) worked with bipartisan lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to get answers from NHTSA about this new technology. The deployment of vehicles like the type mentioned in the Ford letter, are a major concern of motorcyclists. The MRF remains troubled by the rush to allow testing of these vehicles on public roads.
While the decision by Ford appears to be based on the economic reality surrounding this new technology, the MRF applauds any decision that pauses the deployment of this unproven technology on our nation’s roads.
To read the full letter click here.