Regulators order self-driving school bus test to be stopped

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered the
French-based transport company Transdev to cease testing a self-driving
school bus in Florida, reports the BBC. The NHTSA had given Transdev the
green light to import its self-driving vehicle in March, but says it
did not give the company permission to use it as a school bus or to
transport human passengers.

In a statement, Heidi King, the NHTSA deputy administrator, said,
“Innovation must not come at the risk of public safety. 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.”

Transdev, for its part, said it believed that the NHTSA’s prior approval
of the pilot also meant that both adults and children were permitted to
ride in its vehicle, which operated at 8 mph, but had a top speed of 30
mph. Upon receiving the cease-and-desist instructions from the NHTSA,
Transdev stopped the pilot a week earlier than scheduled and noted that
“[the] small pilot was operating safely, without any issues, in a highly
controlled environment.”

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