Feds shut down self-driving school bus pilot in Florida

Enlarge (credit: Transdev)

The Trump administration has taken a hands-off approach to regulating self-driving cars, but on Friday federal regulators decided that one self-driving car project had gone too far. In a sharply-worded statement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has ordered the French transportation company Transdev to stop transporting schoolchildren in a self-driving vehicle in Florida.

Transdev’s pilot project in Babcock Ranch, a planned community, was quite modest. On Fridays, Transdev’s electric shuttle would take a group of elementary-aged children to school, then take them home later in the day. The vehicle had a safety driver on board. The route was short enough that kids walked or rode their bikes to school the other four days of the week, according to a spokeswoman for Babcock Ranch.

 

“The shuttle travels at a top speed of 8mph, with the potential to reach speeds of 30mph once the necessary infrastructure is complete,” an August press release stated.

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