Self-Driving Car Guidlines Are Aiming To Increase Safety

By Victor Thomson , Sep 21, 2016 03:00 AM EDT

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued its regulatory guidelines for self-driving cars, in an attempt to help automakers prepare for the transition to driverless vehicles.

Self-Driving Car Guidelines

The Federal Automated Vehicle Policy provides guidelines on how car manufacturers and developers can design safe autonomous vehicles, outlines potential new tools for increasing safety and recommends states their responsibilities.

U.S. regulator agency has published these guidelines on the Department of Transportation's website. The feds prepare for the transition to autonomous cars that, in their opinion, will save lives, time and money.

In an interview for NPR, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that, as self-driving technology continues to be developed, he hopes that safety will remain a priority. Foxx predicted that a growing interest in the marketplace for autonomous vehicles will bring them soon in the daily life of Americans and they will become a common occurrence on American roads in the near future.  He considers important that safety is part of the design process from the very beginning and that's part of the policy prepared by the Department of Transportation.

According to Phys, the plan rolled out by Obama administration officials will stimulate innovation, while enabling car makers, ride-hailing firms and tech companies to design and promote driverless cars without compromising safety. The 112 pages of the document were generally well received by analysts and businesses as good guidance in an emerging field that is evolving very fast.

The Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created guidelines that do not prescribe specifically how car makers can design a self-driving car that can safely carry people down the road. The document is making recommendations in general terms, leaving a lot to interpretation.

NHTSA's document provides a 15-point safety assessment for automakers to comply with before they roll out their autonomous cars. If the software or hardware in self-driving systems will not perform as it should the Traffic Safety Administration will force recalls. 

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