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Ford and GM seek U.S. OK to deploy self-driving vehicles without steering wheels

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NHTSA Administrator Steven Cliff said the agency “will carefully examine each petition to ensure safety is prioritized and to include considerations of access for people with disabilities, equity and the environment.”

Ford’s petition, submitted in July 2021, was previously undisclosed until NHTSA’s publication Wednesday.

A Ford spokesperson said the “petition is an important step toward helping create a regulatory path that allows autonomous technologies to mature over time, eliminating controls and displays that are only useful to human drivers.”

GM and its self-driving technology unit Cruise in February disclosed they petitioned NHTSA for permission to deploy self-driving vehicles without steering wheels, mirrors, turn signals or windshield wipers.

In 2018, GM petitioned NHTSA to allow a car built on a Chevrolet Bolt without steering wheels or brake pedals on U.S. roads. In late 2020, GM withdrew the petition.

GM said Wednesday it continues to work with NHTSA “as their review continues and remain eager in seeing the fully autonomous Cruise Origin on the road in the years to come.”

Bloomberg contributed to this report

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