Regulators Offer Guidance on Self-Driving Car Adoption

Posted on May 31, 2013

Things have been somewhat quiet on the autonomous vehicle front, but that doesn’t mean that regulators have forgotten about this promising technology.  Self-driving cars from Google seem to be more a matter of when than if, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the United States Department of Transportation want to make sure that the proper framework is in place so that safety can be assured when these vehicles get rolled out.

The NHTSA has come out with a policy which seeks to provide guidance for states in terms of allowing self-driving automobiles on the road.  Using Florida, Nevada, and California as a current benchmark in terms of the types of laws that might be in place to oversee the vehicles, the NHTSA believes states and consumers can benefit if states are responsible in promoting and licensing the autonomous vehicles.

Technology allowing vehicles to communicate with each other (V2V) is currently being tested in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and if the tests prove promising, the NHTSA might soon require such advancements to come standard with all new automobiles.  Fully autonomous vehicles would be the next step, and the NHTSA wants to prepare now for that occurrence.

The NHTSA hopes that a semblance of unity among states in terms of policies for autonomous vehicles will prevent confusion and encourage safe driving.  The agency also wants to look into whether the vehicles are susceptible to hackers and whether drivers are ready to cede control to a robotic system.

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