NHTSA Steps in to Help Self-Driving Cars Take Hold

There are very few places on this Earth where autonomous vehicles (AVs) can be tested on public roads, and virtually no place where they can be used by the public. Still, AVs are coming, and the only way to properly integrate them into the world is providing a solid set of rules for them.
Self-driving cars get a helping hand from the NHTSA 1 photo
Photo: Waymo
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is all for the mass adoption of autonomous cars. It says that having "cars and trucks that drive us, instead of us driving them," could be of great benefit in terms of road safety.

To that end, the organization released last week the Automated Vehicles 3.0: Preparing for the Future of Transportation report, accompanied by the call for a pilot project meant to gather public comment on a national research program to help safely test and deploy this type of cars.

More specifically, the organization plans to offer carmakers more choices when it comes to the open world locations where these technologies will be tested and more free will in choosing the hardware-software combination deployed.

After gathering all the data from the industry, the NHTSA plans to establish a national research program for testing AVs, although it admits that at this point it hasn’t decided on how to structure it and thus has no idea what it will cost and how long it will take.

“NHTSA anticipates that these data will provide needed information that will better enable the public and private sectors to realize the promises and overcome the challenges of vehicles with high and full driving automation,” the administration says in the report in published on October 4.

The NHTSA announcement comes at the time when companies researching AV tech, like Waymo, are getting ready to released fleets of thousands of self-driving cars. What they lack to do that is the required legal framework.

You can read the entire NHTSA Automated Vehicles 3.0 report in the document attached below.
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 Download: Autonomous vehicle pilot project (PDF)

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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