Ammann said the company wasn’t seeking an exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards — something the government caps at 2,500 — just a new way around a few of the requirements.
"A car without a steering wheel can't have a steering wheel airbag," Ammann told The Verge. "What we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well. So it's to meet the standards but meet them in a way that's different than what's exactly prescribed, and that's what the petition seeks to get approval for."
Ford has said it will build a steering-wheel-and-pedal-less autonomous car by 2021. Meanwhile, Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, is preparing to launch its first commercial ride-hailing service in Phoenix featuring fully driverless minivans, although these vehicles still will have traditional controls, the Verge reported.