Driverless Car Manufacturers Await Guidance from Agency, Motorcyclists Raise Concerns, Questions - MRF
For Immediate Release
August 5, 2016
Driverless Car Manufacturers Await Guidance from Agency, Motorcyclists Raise Concerns, Questions
WASHINGTON, DC – Over the last several months, we’ve seen more and more companies announce plans to pursue the creation and manufacture of self-driving cars. Tesla has already been successful, announcing their intention to have an autonomous vehicle ready by 2018 for consumer purchase. Google’s prototype currently has a fleet of 58 self-driving vehicles being tested on public streets in California, Washington, Texas and Arizona. GM, Daimler, Volvo, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi and BMW have also announced plans to pursue the technology. As with most new technologies, the federal government has to play catch-up to this evolving area as it relates to rules and regulations.
This was made apparent when last month, a Tesla Model S on auto-pilot caused a fatal crash in Florida. Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation on the incident, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind indicated that the recent controversy around the crash would not deter the agency from embracing self-driving cars as part of the future of safety on the nation's roads. However, the question remains as to what criteria must be established to ensure that driverless cars are safe for consumers. The Department of Transportation (DoT) has indicated that this guidance is likely to be issued sometime this summer. DoT Secretary Anthony Foxx has stated that this will come in the form of federal government guidelines for self-driving vehicles. Critics concerned over the technology have reacted negatively to this announcement, stating that guidelines are only voluntary and that enforceable standards must be established.