Documents reveal autonomous vehicles without standard controls such as Googles’ will not be approved.
The United States Department of Transportation is taking the approval of self-driving cars seriously. On Friday a document was released by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). In the document the fate of the self-driving cars was mentioned.
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It seems self-driving cars with a traditional vehicle face relatively few regulatory and legal barriers. In short cars with no steering wheels and pedals will not be approved road-worthy by the NHTSA.
Stripping out steering wheel and foot pedals will lead to significant restraints. For example the new Google Cars does not feature traditional manuals.
The federal government isn’t going to certify Google’s self-driving prototype. Any conceptual vehicle not equipped with standard manual controls will be rejected.
According to the Reuters report, self-driving cars which push the boundaries of conventional design would be constrained. Since the new autonomous cars do not follow the current federal motor vehicle safety standards.
The DOT and the NHTSA are trying to catch up to the technology of autonomous cars. The DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx recently gave his agency six months to develop operational guidelines.
The guidelines will instruct how automated vehicle technology should be tested and regulated. Even policies to promote more self-driving cars are being drawn-up. Most notably new rules are being developed in California, where numerous autonomous cars are being tested.
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Google hopes the DOT will help come up with regulations which do not slow the pace of innovation. The DOT will most probably release new guidelines by June 20116.