NHTSA Streamlines Autonomous Vehicle Approvals

On December 18, 2018, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it issued a final regulation streamlining the review process. NHTSA eliminated a requirement that calls for the agency to determine that a petition is complete before publishing a summary for public comment.

Deputy NHTSA Administrator Heidi King said in a statement that the “rule improves both the efficiency and transparency of the process to focus on the safety review.”

Under the law, automakers can petition for an exemption for up to 2,500 vehicles for vehicle safety standards as long as they are at least as safe as existing vehicles.

NHTSA also stated that it was seeking comment on the use and integration of vehicle communications technologies. It said these technologies could improve motor vehicle safety and efficiency as well as support cooperative vehicle automation concepts.

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