Tuesday October 23, 2018

NHTSA Stops Autonomous School Bus Company from Transporting Children to School

The regulators at the NHTSA have issued a letter to Transdev North America to immediately stop transporting children to school on their new innovative autonomous school bus. Transdev says that the EZ10 Generation II driverless shuttle was picking up children in an controlled environment in the Babcok Ranch community in Southwestern Florida without issue. Transdev has a temporary importation authorization to bring the bus in for testing and demonstration purposes, but the NHTSA says that carrying children to school was never part of Transdev's approved test project. The self driving bus has a top speed of 8mph with the potential to reach 30 mph with the necessary infrastructure upgrades in place. The shuttle service was available as an on demand, door to door service utilizing an integrated app.

"Innovation must not come at the risk of public safety," said Heidi King, NHTSA Deputy Administrator. "Using a non-compliant test vehicle to transport children is irresponsible, inappropriate, and in direct violation of the terms of Transdev's approved test project,"

The company said it believed the pilot met the requirements of the testing and demonstration project approved by NHTSA for adults and children to ride on the same route. It added that it did not sacrifice safety for progress, would never do so, and was committed to complying with regulations.