(Mirror Daily, United States) – Regulations might loosen, as officials are starting to embrace self-driving cars and slowly accept their place as part of our world in the future. It seems inevitable that they will become common within the next 5 to 10 years. Numerous companies are perfecting their autonomous technology and looking forward to a true test on the road.
However, lawmakers are now faced with an issue. Unlike all other vehicles out in the street, driverless cars will need an additional set of rules to follow. There are numerous traffic regulations, situations, and potential changes that need to be made. This seemed like an inevitable consequence. Technology evolves much faster than laws.
Some carmakers have resorted to various options, such as Google restraining their testing around their Mountain View campus. Ford has been using a fake city in Michigan to conduct trials on their autonomous technology. It’s difficult to receive permission to test out the cars in real-life situations that would perfectly reflect all the potential dangers.
So far, Google, Tesla Motors, and other car manufacturers have pointed out the unfortunate drawback that their vehicles are not allowed on public roads without an accompanying driver. This is meant to keep traffic safe. In case of emergencies, the human driver can always take over.
Back in 2013, the Department of Transportation in the United States stated that self-driving cars should be used only in testing, and should not be authorized for the use of the public. Essentially, their intentions seemed to be that driverless vehicles remain more of a concept, to be featured in movies and nothing else. However, they seem to be singing in a different tune now.
According Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, they still aim for their attention to be squarely focused on the “safety front”, but they now also do not want to be “skittish about innovations”. Self-driving cars could certainly be one of the markets that will burst in the future. Reluctance to accept it could severely damage numerous companies that are already working on their autonomous systems.
This is the case for big brand car makers, such as Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Nissan, Ford, BMW, Honda, and many others, including other companies such as Google. More regulations will soon be required, outside of states that have already started to adopt to the change. This includes California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan, and District of Columbia.
New policies are currently being made under the watchful eye of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and will hopefully be ready in a matter of weeks.
Read about Ford’s fake city in Michigan for testing autonomous cars here.
Image source: fastcompany.net
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