U.S. Guidance on Self-Driving Cars to Come within Months

March 30, 2016

March 30, 2016—U.S. regulators will issue guidelines within the next few months to help the introduction of self-driving cars, according to a report from Automotive News.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that technology will not eliminate crashes altogether but could help reduce highway fatalities which are approaching 35,000 per year. Guidance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will set safety benchmarks autonomous vehicles will need to meet before being permitted on U.S. highways. 

Recently, executives from Google, General Motors, Delphi and Lyft testified to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on the state of autonomous technology and the regulations revolving around them. The companies urged congress to clarify a patchwork of state regulations.

A researcher from Duke University named Missy Cummings also testified to the Senate committee saying that the technology in these cars is “absolutely not ready for widespread deployment.”

Foxx said that rulemaking is too slow to deal with the fast-moving technology developing autonomous vehicles, but U.S. regulators will allow automakers to demonstrate the technology’s safety and apply for exemptions so the technology can continue to develop without government interference. Google recently got a letter saying the autonomous car can be considered the “driver.”

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