Feds unveil plan to ensure safety of self-driving cars

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal regulators, faced with a growing number of self-driving car tests on roads across the U.S., plan to issue a flurry of new guidelines Tuesday aimed at automakers and tech companies. The U.S. Department of Transportation will require any new tech to meet a 15-point safety assessment, consider new powers to allow administrators to limit the deployment of experimental vehicles, and will issue a model for state self-driving car policies aimed at developing a cohesive set of national regulations. Officials will solicit public comments on the topic of self-driving car regulations for the next 60 days on the Transportation Department website and plan to update self-driving car policies annually. "We're laying it out there, what we care about, and inviting the industry to show us how they meet those standards," Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters during a briefing late Monday. "Some companies haven't dealt with us, but they'll learn quickly we can go really deep on these topics.


Obama administration clears roadblocks to autonomous vehicles in new advisory

PBS NewsHour

Self-driving cars have the potential to save thousands of lives lost on the nation's roads each year and to change the lives of the elderly and the disabled, President Barack Obama said in an op-ed published Monday by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. WASHINGTON -- Obama administration officials are previewing long-awaited guidance that attempts to bring self-driving cars to the nation's roadways safely -- without creating so many roadblocks that the technology can't make it to market quickly. Traditional automakers and tech companies have been testing self-driving prototypes on public roads for several years, with a human in the driver's seat just in case. The results suggest that what once seemed like a technology perpetually over the horizon appears to be fast approaching, especially with car companies announcing a string of investments and acquisitions in recent months. Federal officials have been struggling with how to capitalize on the technology's promised safety benefits -- the cars can react faster than people, but don't drink or get distracted -- while making sure they are ready for widespread use.


Top Auto Regulator: Nimble Rules Needed For Self-Driving Cars

International Business Times

The top U.S. vehicle safety regulator said on Wednesday the government needs to be more nimble in designing rules for self-driving vehicles. The industry "is on version 238.32 by the time we get regulations out," National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator Mark Rosekind said during an appearance at an industry conference in suburban Detroit. U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines expected in July will offer different approaches to oversight of self-driving, or autonomous, vehicle technologies, Rosekind said. Regulations that remain static for years "will not work for this area," Rosekind said. "We will have something different in July."


Experts tell NHTSA to slow down on self-driving cars

U.S. News

Engineers, safety advocates and even automakers have a safety message for federal regulators eager to get self-driving cars on the road: slow down. Fully self-driving cars may be the future of the automotive industry, but they aren't yet up to the demands of real-world driving, several people told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during a public meeting Friday. A slower, more deliberative approach may be needed instead of the agency's rapid timetable for producing guidance for deploying the vehicles, according to an auto industry trade association. In January, the federal agency announced that it would begin work on writing guidance for deploying the vehicles. Officials have promised to complete that guidance by July.


Feds preview rules of the road for self-driving cars

Boston Herald

Obama administration officials are previewing long-awaited guidance that attempts to bring self-driving cars to the nation's roadways safely -- without creating so many roadblocks that the technology can't make it to market quickly. Traditional automakers and tech companies have been testing self-driving prototypes on public roads for several years, with a human in the driver's seat just in case. The results suggest that what once seemed like a technology perpetually over the horizon appears to be fast approaching, especially with car companies announcing a string of investments and acquisitions in recent months. Federal officials have been struggling with how to capitalize on the technology's promised safety benefits -- the cars can react faster than people, but don't drink or get distracted -- while making sure they are ready for widespread use. The new guidance represents their current thinking, which they hope will bring some order to what has been a chaotic rollout so far.