Ford scales back no-steering wheel car plans

Ford has abandoned attempts to get American regulators to allow it to operate up to 2,500 self-driving vehicles annually without requiring a steering wheel.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology reports that in a letter sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford Motor Co said it was withdrawing its petition to get its driverless technology approved for the roads.

It points out that in October last year it was announced that Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle start-up that launched in 2017, was shutting down and being absorbed into its two main backers who were Ford and VW.

“As evidenced by the planned shutdown of our ADS partner Argo AI, we believe the road to fully autonomous vehicles, at scale, with a profitable business model, will be a long one,” Ford said in the letter.

“At this time, Ford has determined that it is more prudent to focus on nearer-term L2/L3 technologies, which do not require an exemption.

“Hence, we would like to withdraw the subject petition for an exemption from further consideration.”

Read the full report from the IET here.

(Picture – Argo AI from May 2022)


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