The NHTSA has asked for feedback on the state of autonomous vehicles and how current US regulations can be refined to promote research and deployment. The US National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report on potential rule changes on Friday, which states the agency is looking for comments "to identify any unnecessary regulatory barriers" to the deployment of autonomous vehicles on US roads. NHTSA said that input relating to regulatory barriers is key, as well as any thoughts relating to hurdles companies face when attempting to test their self-driving vehicles. Compliance problems are a serious problem for vendors researching and developing self-driving car technologies. In particular, the agency recognizes that vehicle designs "that are not equipped with controls for a human driver" are a stumbling block, such as a lack of a steering wheel, brakes, or accelerator pedals.
Volvo is set to test self-driving cars on the streets of London. Self-driving vehicles may be ready to hit the road in a matter of years, but U.S. drivers aren't yet comfortable with the idea, a new survey shows. Nearly 46 percent of U.S. drivers surveyed in April said their preferred level of automoation is "no self-driving," according to a survey from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Another 38.7 percent said they prefer "some" self-driving, while 15.5 percent said the are ready for "completely" self-driving vehicles. The poll, which surveyed 618 licensed drivers in the U.S., also found that 94.5 percent of respondents said they'd prefer it if self-driving cars have a steering wheel, as well as gas and break pedals.
Silicon Valley-based Drive.ai announced Tuesday that Andrew Ng has joined its board of directors. Ng was the chief scientist at Chinese tech giant Baidu until March, and previously founded and led the Google Brain project, an artificial intelligence effort. Drive.ai also revealed plans to launch a pilot test later this year so customers can ride in its self-driving vehicles. To fund this, it raised $50 million from venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. "This is one horse worth betting on," Ng told CNN Tech.
U.S. consumers still resist the notion of self-driving cars, according to a University of Michigan study released on Monday, the latest sign that investors and automakers may be rushing into a business where demand is limited at best. General Motors Co's recent acquisition of Silicon Valley startup Cruise Automation for a reported 1 billion has accelerated a stampede by other automakers, suppliers and venture capital firms looking to invest in or acquire new companies developing self-driving technology. Consumers, meanwhile, remain concerned about aspects of self-driving technology and "overwhelmingly" still want the ability to manually control a self-driving vehicle, the study said. "The most frequent preference for vehicle automation continues to be for no self-driving capability," said the study's authors, Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak. The survey results are consistent with those in a similar survey that the university conducted a year ago and generally mirror the findings in a study that the American Automobile Association released in March.
Washington, DC (CNN Business)Tesla is selling its cars with the option of "full self-driving capability," a feature that's drawing criticism from experts on self-driving technology. They say CEO Elon Musk is playing fast and loose with definitions, overselling the technology and potentially creating safety issues. When Tesla announced the $35,000 Model 3 Thursday, it said it would come with an optional $5,000 feature: full self-driving capability. The system will offer "automatic driving on city streets" as an update later this year, according to Tesla's website. A Tesla spokeswoman declined to comment on details around the automatic driving option, and pointed CNN Business to fine print on Tesla's order page that tells buyers the currently enabled features require "active" driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.