Beware the driverless delivery van!
Are you planning on visiting Houston, Texas in the near future? If so, don’t be surprised if you see a driverless vehicle go past when you are there.
The first self-driving vehicle designed without basic human controls has been granted permission to test on US roads.
The company designing this vehicle is Nuro, an American robotics company based in California, and it is the company’s second generation of its vehicles. It is called the R2 and it is to be tested in Houston, Texas.
This is the first exemption to a rule requiring vehicles to have controls for human operators.
Up until now, most of the rules for testing vehicles require features that allow a driver to safely take control of them, but this vehicle will have no humans on board.
The US transport secretary Elaine Chao explains that as the vehicle's top speed is capped at 25mph (40kph), previous requirements no longer make sense.
How long I wonder, before we see something similar in NZ?
(My thanks to the BBC for alerting me to this news)