Are we really getting closer to a world where cars drive themselves? The politicians in Washington D.C. seem to think so, which is why the NHTSA is working out a new set of national laws and regulations guiding the development, and eventual deployment, of autonomous cars.
NHTSA administrator David Strickland said that the government agency is currently at work researching the necessary regulations to ensure that autonomous cars are safe, reliable, and effective. Strickland said that such technology could save thousands of lives every year.
Google, who has developed and patented self-driving cars that have logged over 300,000 miles of on-its-own driving, estimates that national deployment of autonomous cars could save $100 billion in fuel every year.
But there must be guidelines, regulations, and safety features implemented before deploying these vehicles en masse. While both California and Nevada have signed legislation allowing autonomous cars on the road, the NHTSA is still a few years away from rolling out regulations that deem the who, what, when, where, and why of self-driving vehicles.
It could be that this technology is currently only fit for city driving and speeds, at least at first, There will still be a manual driving element I imagine, at least with the first-generation vehicles, but Google thinks autonomous cars could be sold within the next ten years.
Me personally? I’ll always prefer to do my own driving. But I know plenty of bad drivers who would rather chat on their cellphones than pay attention to the road. For them, and us, autonomous cars are a godsend.
Source: The Detroit News