NHTSA Unveils New Policy Strategies for Autonomous Cars

May 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Car Safety

According to several news agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a new set of policies that would address the concerns most agents had concerning self-driving vehicles.

The idea is to present the plan in order to obtain criticism and more tips on how to ensure driverless and autonomous car technology can be safely regulated in the near future.

The new policy has a list of levels that concern vehicle automation and condenses several plans for research into the technology. Agents believe that the researches are needed in order to ensure that all safety concerns are addressed properly.

The new policy also offers a series of recommendations for states that have already allowed self-driving vehicle technologies to roam the roads of their states for testing purposes.

According to the reports and multiple news sources, states that contemplate allowing the self-driving car technology to roam free in their territories should keep in mind that the levels of automation should be made clear. The NHTSA stated that if the autonomous car is working on a no automation level, the driver must be in complete control of the vehicle controls while on the function-specific automation, the vehicle could be performing one or more specific functions such as stability control while the driver actually performs most functions.

While the vehicle is on limited self-driving automation, the motorist can cede full control of most of the essential functions under specific conditions, but must be aware he or she must assume control once those conditions have shifted.

While on full self-driving automation, the vehicle should be performing all of the functions. The driver is not responsible for any of the critical functions that determine the vehicle’s course or behavior.

By having all of the automation levels well defined, automakers and drivers are able to understand exactly who is hold liable in case an accident occurs. According to the NHTSA, by determining these automation levels, could help the federal agency to perform more thorough investigations into safety concerns in order to develop well-thought out policies that would help to maintain drivers safe.

At this moment, the research and investigations are in their early stages. The sooner these investigations are completed, the sooner the public will be able to enjoy this technology since established standards would help automakers and other technology developers to come up with more reliable and safe autonomous vehicles.

To learn more about the policy plan unveiled by the NHTSA, follow this link for the original article.


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