The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans to release a new set of regulations for self-driving cars in July.
NHTSA wants to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of self-driving cars, which are currently being developed faster than legislators can make safety guidelines for them.
Flexibility is key to the new set of rules and regulations, which will focus on four specific things: Operational guidance and deployment; making state policies uniform; restructuring the exemption process; and identifying tools for authorities to help get this technology on the road.
Automakers want a blanket set of rules for all states to follow, as currently each state has its own rules and guidelines. For example, California laws currently require self-driving cars to have a steering wheel and a licensed driver behind the wheel ready to take over.
A number of regulatory questions remain surrounding self-driving cars, like should a licensed driver be required to be behind the wheel, and do these cars even need brake pedals and steering wheels?
NHTSA senior administrator Mark Rosekind thinks that a separate regulatory body may need to be formed in the future strictly to watch over self-driving cars. Rosekind plans to leave the agency in January, 2017.
[Source: The Detroit News]