😎 Summer Sale Exclusive - Up to 50% off AI-powered stock picks by InvestingProCLAIM SALE

Ford withdraws petition seeking U.S. approval to deploy self-driving vehicles

Published 03/30/2023, 01:58 PM
Updated 03/30/2023, 03:07 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Ford Motor Co has withdrawn a petition seeking U.S. regulatory approval to deploy up to 2,500 self-driving vehicles annually without required human controls like steering wheels, according to a letter made public Thursday.

The automaker told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) it was no longer seeking approval for the petition it filed in July 2021, citing its decision to close its self-driving venture Argo AI last year.

"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 its Feb. 13 letter, adding it was "more prudent" to focus on other technologies that "do not require an exemption."

The NHTSA made the letter public on Thursday.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker said on Thursday that the strategic decision to focus on partially automated vehicles meant it no longer needed petition approval.

Ford, which jointly ran Argo with Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY), booked a $2.7 billion non-cash pre-tax impairment on its investment in the unit and laid off some employees.

The petition was made public in July 2022 by the NHTSA and opened alongside a similar petition submitted by General Motors (NYSE:GM) that is still pending. Ford had said it intended to deploy a self-driving ride-hailing and package delivery vehicle early in this decade.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

Ford had sought permission not to include human controls "such as a steering wheel, brake pedal (and) gear state controls." The automaker told the NHTSA in its petition that self-driving vehicles "having active driving controls and communications would introduce an unacceptable risk to safety."

The NHTSA has authority to grant petitions to allow a limited number of vehicles to operate on U.S. roads without required human controls. Efforts in Congress to make it easier to deploy vehicles on U.S. roads without human controls have been stymied for years.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.