United States’ federal officials are now rethinking about the self-driving cars, as it looks like the research and development in this segment are at its peak now. US’ transportation secretary Anthony Foxx has just announced about the possible, positive changes to the nation’s self-driving vehicle policy.
Two years ago, the United States has written a cautious policy about Automated Vehicle Development, where it stated that self-driving vehicles should be used only for testing purpose and not to be used by the members of the public as the general driving use.
According to the Associated Press, Anthony Foxx said in a statement:
“I want the posture of our agency to be obviously vigilant on the safety front, but I don’t want our agency to be skittish about innovations that are out there.”
Recently, Google has announced about its expansion of the testing of its driverless cars to other locations than Mountain View campus. Alphabet, Inc., formally known as Google, Inc., will be testing out its own self-driving cars in California, Texas and Austin in coming days.
Other automobile giants such as Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen and Tesla Motors are also focusing on Self-Driving technology R&D. Even the technology giant Apple Inc also said to be secretively working on driverless car technology. Moreover, Volkswagen has also aggressively moved to hire self-driving technology experts – as an example, it is reportedly snatched Johann Jungwirth from Apple’s secret project.
The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has been advocating restraint. “The California DMV correctly is focused on getting the regulations correct, rather than rushing them out the door,” John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog said in a written statement Tuesday. Federal authorities must “not succumb to corporate pressure to move so fast that our safety on the highways is compromised.”
As of now, we could see only state level regulations on Automated Vehicle Development and self-driving cars. Legislatures in the District of Columbia, Florida, Nevada, Michigan and California have already passed self-driving cars related bills, one by one. It’s also reported that the other states are also interested in passing such bills soon.
Once the technology is deemed safe, many kinds of self-driving cars will be riding on the roads soon, but there should be some new rules and regulations for road safety and traffic. It’s also expected that in the coming years, self-driving technology related debates will be taking pace within the federal officials.