Woburn, MA – Terrafugia has received a grant of all of the special exemptions it had requested for the Transition from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Transition is the first combined flying-driving vehicle to receive such special consideration.
These exemptions pave the way for Terrafugia to begin deliveries once Terrafugia’s rigorous Transition certification testing program is complete. Extensive analysis and simulated crash testing are also being employed to ensure the Transition meets all other applicable crash safety standards. It is also the first to incorporate automotive safety features such as a purpose-built energy absorbing crumple zone, a rigid carbon fiber occupant safety cage, and automotive-style driver and passenger airbags.
Exemptions include use of tires rated for highway speeds and vehicle weight but not for multi-purpose vehicles, as well as the use of polycarbonate materials for windshields. The use of automotive safety glass would add significant weight.
In the exemption text, NHTSA states: “We further conclude that the granting of an exemption from these requirements would be in the public interest and consistent with the objectives of traffic safety.” In 2010, the Transition was granted an additional 110 pounds allowance by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in a prior exemption action by the DOT.