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Google's driverless car almost approved

Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 03:30 PM
The US is setting the stage for driverless cars. Google's self-driving car system could shortly be given the same legal definition as a human driver.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which sets strict rules and regulations on America's roads, shared its thoughts in a letter to Google made public this week, BBC reported.
Until now, any car without a human driver would not be considered roadworthy. However, in light of technological advancements, the NHTSA has changed its perspective.
"If no human occupant of the vehicle can actually drive the vehicle, it is more reasonable to identify the driver as whatever (as opposed to whoever) is doing the driving," it said.
"In this instance, an item of motor vehicle equipment, the Self-Driving System, is actually driving the vehicle."
Wonderful on paper and drawing board, but what about the real roads? Licenses are seized in America for small traffic offences. In case of a driverless car, what license can be seized?
With the NHTSA's blessing, the driverless car now fits the key criteria required to pass the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards test.
It's the latest regulatory boost for Google after the US government announced in January a $4bn plan to create nationwide regulations for self-driving cars.
Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said the initiative would provide consistency among states.
What if the driverless car, once approved, goes on to cause a car crash on a busy US road? Who would be the criminal party?
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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