NHTSA Releases Driverless Car Guidelines

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its highly anticipated guidelines on the regulation of autonomous vehicles.  The Federal Automated Vehicles Policy signals NHTSA’s continued support of driverless technology development by promising manufacturers expedited responses to requests for legal interpretations and exemptions.  The Policy also confirms that NHTSA will leave the regulation of licensure, operation and insurance of vehicles to states, despite calls from some automakers for the federal government’s greater involvement.  A voluntary 15-point Safety Assessment allows manufacturers to evaluate how their models meet objectives including crashworthiness, safe engineering systems, safeguards against threats of hacking and data recording and sharing.  The Policy also includes a model framework for States, addressing procedures for the testing and operation of vehicles, law enforcement considerations, and insurance regulation.

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