Driverless Vehicles need Steering Wheels for Emergencies

GM has requested a waiver from NHTSA and the FMCSA to get rid of steering wheels, brake and gas pedals. Let’s say that a sizable percentage of the vehicle population, cars, trucks, buses etc, are at a L5 and have no driver controls. What happens when there are emergencies? From a small to very broad scale, especially if these systems fail. From AV system failures leaving them immobile in a lane to national emergencies. 6.8M people fled Hurricane Irma. How does that happen if these systems are autonomous? (Not to mention how is it they would function doing so with detailed mapping changes in real-time and no V2X with mass power outages?) Finally, if this were to be approved, it should be done so AFTER these systems are proven to be a legitimate L5 not a L2/3 in development and testing to be a L5.

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My name is Michael DeKort — I am a former system engineer, engineering and program manager for Lockheed Martin. I worked in aircraft simulation, the software engineering manager for all of NORAD, the Aegis Weapon System, and on C4ISR for DHS.

I am a member of the SAE On-Road Autonomous Driving Validation & Verification Task Force and was recently asked by SAE to lead an effort to establish a new Modeling and Simulation group.

I am a stakeholder for UL4600 — Creating AV Safety Guidelines.

I have also been presented the IEEE Barus Ethics Award and am on the IEEE Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Systems Policy Committee (AI&ASPC)

Systems Engineer, Engineering/Program Management -- DoD/Aerospace/IT - Autonomous Systems Air & Ground, FAA Simulation, UAM, V2X, C4ISR, Cybersecurity