GM’s driverless car petition to NHTSA enters public comment phase

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking action on General Motors Co.’s request to put a driverless car — without a steering wheel or pedals — on public roads, advancing the Detroit automaker’s petition to the public review stage.

Publicly airing the petitions of GM and Nuro Inc., a Silicon Valley robotics company, is a required step for using public roads to test vehicles that don’t comply with existing federal standards. The petitions will be open for 60 days.

“The Department is actively seeking public comment on proposed exemptions to federal standards and how the public can be protected as new transportation technologies emerge,” Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said in a Friday statement.

NHTSA has provided summaries of GM’s and Nuro’s petitions for public review. GM submitted its petition to NHTSA in January 2018 in its first step toward deploying a driverless taxi fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EV-based cars, known as the Cruise AV.