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NHTSA Asks Transdev Not to Ply Self Driving Shuttle as School Bus

Self driving shuttles are not supposed to work as school buses. So National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) informed Transdev to stop its driverless-shuttle-cum-school-bus service. Transdev, the mobility service provider, is facing the brunt for using its shuttle of EZ10 Generation II for driving students to and from the school. This shuttle was playing in the Babcock Ranch of Florida; the shuttle was driving students to and from Babcock Neighborhood School.

Heidi King, who is the deputy administrator for NHTSA, informed that though she supports innovation but using school children for experiment is unethical. The agency informed that these vehicles are automated or driverless. Previously, Transdev had asked for approval from NHTSA for using these driverless vehicles. The agency had given them permission to try out these vehicles with adults but never with kids. Heidi also informed that there is a separate set of rules and regulations for school buses and Transdev violated all. The agency also informed that if the transport company does not immediately stop the school bus service, they will be fined under the civil penal law.

When Transdev was contacted for a comment on this, no spokesperson from the company provided any information. As per NHTSA, the company has agreed to stop its services for school going children.

Transdev had informed on September 5 of this year that it is going to use its driverless cars for school services. This is a fully electric powered car which has 12 seats in it. At present, the vehicle was running at 8 miles per hour but as per the company, it has a power of running at 30 miles per hour. There was a human driver in the car for any exigency. So at present, the self-driving cars for students are on a halt.

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