The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced that the agency has started the research and study program which is estimated to last for 2-3 years that focuses on developing the standards for the regulation and testing of technologies needed by autonomous vehicles.
Given the estimated timeframe, the study which is conducted by the federal safety regulators would most likely cover a wider scope and involve a lot of work. Although the study has already started, David Strickland, who is the current administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has directly stressed out that the agency’s research is currently at its very beginning.
Strickland was quoted giving this statement while delivering a speech at a seminar that was conducted to explore the policy implications of autonomous vehicles. The seminar was held at the Swedish Embassy which is located in Washington DC. This event was sponsored by Volvo as part of the Swedish carmaker’s goal of establishing a global leadership in terms of autonomous vehicle production.
Aside from revealing that the NHTSA would be leading the formulation of national standards that would govern the production, testing, and use of self-driving cars, Strickland has also shared that the very first step that must be undertaken to obtain the proposed goal is to determine and understand the best ways to test the reliability of the software and hardware that are used by autonomous vehicles and allow them to run without the driver’s participation.
In addition to that, the NHTSA has also confirmed that the agency works with a number of states that are interested in developing a standard set of regulations that would govern autonomous vehicles before any car maker would be able to start selling their own version of self-driving cars.
On his speech, Strickland has also acknowledged the benefits that the development of autonomous vehicles. He even pointed out that placing a lot of self-driving cars on the road and ensuring that these are safe would tremendously improve the lives of individuals who are having a hard time when driving such as the visually impaired or older drivers who already have poor eyesight.