The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ordered Transdev North America to immediately stop transporting school children in the Babcock Ranch community in Southwest Florida on the EZ10 Generation II driverless shuttle. The NHTSA says Transdev’s use of the driverless shuttle to transport school children is unlawful and in violation of the company’s temporary importation authorization.
Transdev was granted permission in March 2018 to temporarily import the driverless shuttle for testing and demonstration purposes only. The company requested permission to use the shuttle for a specific demonstration project - not as a school bus.
According to a statement from the NHTSA, “Transdev failed to disclose or receive approval for this use. School buses are subject to rigorous Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards that take into account their unique purpose of transporting children, a vulnerable population.”
"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.”
Transdev has informed NHTSA that it will stop unapproved operations.
The Department of Transportation has issued guidance related to automated vehicles, including Automated Vehicles 3.0: Preparing for the Future of Transportation.
More at: NHTSA's Automated Vehicles site