Google asks US authorities to move swiftly to allow self-driving cars on roads

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In order to speed up the development of autonomous cars, there is an urgent need for regulatory laws in this direction, Google strongly asks.

All the companies involved in the self-driving race are stumbling on safety rules that are hampering autonomous testing on public roads, thus inevitably delaying the deployment of such cars. California Department of Motor Vehicles published a series of draft regulations back in December, specifying the exact terms in which driverless vehicles are allowed on roads. The Agency does not allow automated cars that don’t have a licensed driver, a steering wheel and pedals to go out on the streets and Google was certainly not very happy with that news. The head of Google’s self-driving car project has told the US Congress this week that legislators should grant new authority to the US Transportation Department to help get fully autonomous vehicles on the road.

“We propose that Congress move swiftly to provide the secretary of transportation with new authority to approve life-saving safety innovations. This new authority would permit the deployment of innovative safety technologies that meet or exceed the level of safety required by existing federal standards, while ensuring a prompt and transparent process,” Chris Urmson, said..

After US regulators tightened the safety laws for autonomous testing, the Transportation Department said in January it may give up on some rules to allow the automakers to send more self-driving cars on public roads, as part of the government’s efforts to speed up the development of this technology. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last week in a report there were significant legal hurdles to allowing fully autonomous vehicles without steering wheels.

Via Reuters