AI 'Drivers' Gain Same Legal Status as Human Drivers in Autonomous Vehicles, NHTSA Rules
Feb 11, 2016 07:10 PM EST
The U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently resolved that an Artificial Intelligence self-driving car is consider as a 'human driver' from the legal perspective.
According to a report from Reuters, in a letter submitted by Google to NHTSA, the proposed design for self-driving car is described as "no need for human driver." The NHTSA replied to Google its decision to count as human driver the AI system steering a self-driving car.
Chief Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh said that the vehicle safety regulators will infer 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to "the self-driving system, and not to any of the vehicle occupants."
"We agree with Google its (self-driving car) will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years," Hemmersbaugh added as quoted by the news source.
Although Google's self-driving car prototypes can completely function independently and have the various accessories, it is a requisite to have human driver within. However, NHTSA said that the human occupants could be damaging to safety because the human passenger could make an effort to dominate the (self-driving system's) decisions, Ars Technica wrote.
Apple Insider shares that U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx declared due to the progress of self-driving car, the federal government is willing to review its interpretation of the rules such as the case of autonomous vehicles.
The NHTSA will established Best Practices guidelines and will excuse up to 2,500 autonomous vehicles from safety standards for the sake of testing.
Aside from Google, Apple is working on an electric car to be launched in 2019 or 2020. While the first model may possibly not a self-driving car, the company is planning to work on the concept for next vehicles, the news source said.
The pronouncement of the U.S NHTSA is an important step for acquiring endorsement of Artificial Intelligence self-driving cars.