US-NHTSA to Update Guidelines for Testing Autonomous Vehicles
【Summary】As the self-driving sector continues to mature, so does the guidelines surrounding various aspects of development.
Accelerating the launch of autonomous vehicles on public roads requires a set of regulations that support the goals of the nascent industry. As the self-driving sector continues to mature, so does the guidelines surrounding various aspects of development.
In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a rewrite of outdated regulations surrounding driverless cars. Most of the revisions will focus on streamlining research and development efforts for automakers. During the announcement the NHTSA also praised autonomous driving technology, citing its relevant applications in promoting road safety.
Rewriting Regulations for Driverless Cars
The NHTSA released details of the updates in an 80-page document titled Automated Vehicles 3.0. To ensure transparency, the group will factor in public comments about the proposed changes. Part of the updates include guidelines pertaining to human drivers being present inside an autonomous car. Many feel this has created challenges during testing, as the ultimate goal for the vehicles is to operate without assistance from a human driver.
"The major factor in 94 percent of all fatal crashes is human error. So [Automated Driving Systems] have the potential to significantly reduce highway fatalities by addressing the root cause of these tragic crashes," said NHTSA in a report.
The NHTSA document also aims to ease regulatory restrictions for deploying driverless cars without steering wheels, pedals and conventional side mirrors. This issue can be traced to a petition filed by GM earlier this year, which requested exemption from current guidelines that may prevent the car manufacturer from moving forward with the deployment of an autonomous ride-sharing fleet in 2019.
At the moment, cars used on public roads must cater to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including the presence of 16 human-driving controls. For its fleet of driverless cars, GM wants to circumvent such regulations by replacing traditional controls with viable alternatives.
Pilot Programs in Public Locations
Overall, the NHTSA's timely announcement is positive news for the industry. Such changes will likely take some time to draft and enforce, based on the administration's current views of autonomous driving technology. According to the report, the NHTSA is still in the process of gathering data to better understand the effects of such cars on long-term transportation trends and road safety.
For the NHTSA, a notable channel for gathering information includes pilot projects that test self-driving cars in public locations. If the organization moves in this direction, an increase in new testing programs for autonomous cars is expected. Moreover, the pilot projects will likely take place in new locations and cities that are currently not open to such activities.
It is important to highlight that US law does not require the NTHSA's standards to be based on real-world and physical testing. Because of this, the organization could incorporate computer simulations to streamline the creation of new safety standards.
"NHTSA anticipates that these data will provide needed information that will better enable the public and private sectors to realize the promises and overcome the challenges of vehicles with high and full driving automation," explained the administration.
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
Waymo Receives Permit to Participate in California’s Autonomous Vehicle Pilot
How Do Autonomous Cars Deal with Double-parked Vehicles?
Kitty Hawk and Boeing Form Partnership to Make Flying Cars Safer
Waymo to Bring Driverless Cars to France and Japan via Nissan-Renault Partnership
Porsche Forecasts EVs Going Mainstream
Zomato Tests Drones for Food Deliveries in India
Alibaba Brings Tmall Genie to Audi, Honda and Renault Vehicles
Driverless Sensor Startup Sense Photonics Raises $26 Million in Series A Funding
- Reservations Are Full for the First Edition of Ford’s Electric Mach-E Mustang-inspired Crossover
- Electric Vehicle Startup Fisker Reveals Details & Pricing for its ‘Sustainable’ Ocean SUV
- Myle Technologies Launches its Ride-Hailing Service New York City to Compete with Uber & Lyft
- Tesla’s Latest Stock Surge Raises its Market Value Higher Than Rivals GM & Ford Combined
- Waymo Raises $2.25 billion in its First-Ever External Investment Round
- BMW Reveals its Fully-Electric 530 HP Concept i4 Sedan, the First of Many New Electrified Models
- Despite Push from U.S. Automakers, Bill to Extend EV Tax Credit is Not Expected to Be Included in Year-End Budget Deal
- BMW Decides its New iX3 Electric SUV is Not Coming to the U.S. as Planned
- Tesla Introducing Dedicated Service Centers for the Original Roadster
- The Former Head of Uber ATG Must Pay Google $179 Million to Settle Dispute Over Stolen Trade Secrets