U.S. auto safety regulators are still hesitant about self driving cars being allowed beyond the experimental phase.
“Whether we’re talking about automated features in cars today or fully automated vehicles of the future, our top priority is to ensure these vehicles – and their occupants – are safe,” said Secretary Ray LaHood.
A policy statement released today shows that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration still has “considerable concerns” about state regulations on the safety of self-driving cars. At the time, it does not recommend allowing operation for anything other than testing.
NHTSA said it will study self-driving vehicles over the next four years in anticipation of the possibility that they will become commercially available.
Menawhile, tech giant Google is working to develop self driving cars and has said in the past that it expects the technology to be ready in the next five years. NHTSA’s policy statement suggests that safety regulators will not allow those cars to be broadly used, which are also being developed by companies including Audi and Toyota, in that time.
Florida, Nevada and California all currently allow the companies to test their self-driving technology on public roads.
“We’re encouraged by the new automated vehicle technologies being developed and implemented today, but want to ensure that motor vehicle safety is considered in the development of these advances,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.