EV/AV Report: Electric vehicles climb mountains; while autonomous vehicles face regulation scrutiny

Toronto, Ontario — In this weekly electric and autonomous vehicle report, Ford plans to run an augmented F-150 Lightning in the upcoming Pikes Peak International Hill Climb; while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) calls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to increase the regulations surrounding autonomous vehicles.

Race to the clouds

Ford is sending an augmented F-150 Lightning electric vehicle to participate in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, set to take place on June 23rd at Pikes Peak, Colorado.

The automotive race, also known as The Race to the Clouds, is an annual hill climb of 19.87 kilometres to the summit of Pikes Peak.

This year, Ford is reportedly entering an F-150 Lightning “Super Truck” to take part in the event.

While the automaker has not revealed exactly how the electric vehicle will be augmented, according to Driving.ca, Ford has said that the vehicle will be driven by Romain Dumas, who also currently holds the event’s existing record from 2018 at seven minutes and 57 seconds using a Volkswagen ID.R.

In 2023, Ford’s Electric Supervan 4.2 with 1,400 horsepower based on an E-Transit Custom Van also ran the course and set a class record.

Regulation requests

The IIHS’ Senior Research Scientist, David Kidd has called on the NHTSA to increase regulations surrounding semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles.

Autoblog further noted that Kidd’s concern comes just weeks after six United States senators sent a letter to the NHTSA that raised concerns about its “inaction to regulate automated driver assistance technologies.”

Kidd echoed the senators’ concerns that drivers are misusing the tech as “automation can introduce new, often foreseeable risks.”

Currently, the NHTSA has not required automakers and other companies to provide data on crashes involving automation technologies.

Kidd further noted that automated test fleets, such as those from Cruise and Waymo, are in business without having to provide data about crashes and safety.

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