Tags: driverless | cars | google | computer

Driverless Cars a Step Closer to Green Light as Feds OK Computer 'Drivers'

Image: Driverless Cars a Step Closer to Green Light as Feds OK Computer 'Drivers'
A self-driving car traverses a parking lot at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California on January 8, 2015. (Noah Berger/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 03:04 PM

Driverless cars are one step closer to getting the green light after safety regulators told Google in a letter last week that its computer systems inside the vehicles can be considered "drivers" under federal law.

The Feb. 4 letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said: "NHTSA will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not to any of the vehicle occupants. We agree with Google its (self-driving car) will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years," Reuters reported.

The letter is a significant step toward gaining approval for driverless cars on public roadways as major automakers and tech companies join Google in a race to develop self-driving cars.

Still, driverless cars may have many roadblocks to clear before they are manufactured and sold in large numbers, The Associated Press said, pointing out that the NHTSA “rejected many of Google's claims that its cars met federal auto safety standards.”

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in January that the federal government wants to get driverless cars on the road quickly and it's developing guidance for automakers and a model policy for states to follow, the AP said, adding that some automakers have said the cars could be in use in limited areas by 2020.

Google has opposed federal requirements that cars include drivers, pedals, and steering wheels, saying such things "could be detrimental to safety because the human occupants could attempt to override the (self-driving system's) decisions," Business Insider reported.

The tech giant wants approval to exclude such equipment from its fully automated cars.

Business Insider pointed out that the NHTSA letter is not a ruling and that “Google should seek exemptions in the meantime until a new law is put in place.”

Twitter users shared mixed reactions.





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Driverless cars are one step closer to getting the green light after safety regulators told Google in a letter last week that its computer systems inside the vehicles can be considered "drivers" under federal law.
driverless, cars, google, computer
401
2016-04-10
Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 03:04 PM
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