Autonomous Car Software Counts as a Driver

Autonomous vehicle software counts as driver (NHTSA ruled)

A long anticipated decision from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is here. The Administration handed Alphabet (Google), who made an enquiry, its resolution: Autonomous vehicle software counts as a driver.

“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,” NHTSA’s letter said.

“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.”

Until now, participants in the autonomous driving race complained that state and federal safety rules are impeding testing and eventual deployment of such vehicles. Recently California has proposed draft rules requiring steering wheels and a licensed driver in all self-driving cars.

Exclusive by Reuters