The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes now is not the time to begin regulating self-driving cars. The reason? Onboard technology and the entire industry is still premature.
NHTSA deputy administrator Heidi King told Bloomberg in a report published last Thursday “the technology is so nascent,” and added, “I don’t think it is appropriate today to regulate this technology.”
However, as the technology and industry advances, the NHTSA will be ready to step in and lay out guidelines. King said the agency will always keep self-driving cars on the radar and identify the right time for regulation.
Instead, the agency is committed to identifying problems that hinder the deployment of self-driving cars. Earlier this year, the agency opened a comment period for automakers to identify areas that restrict self-driving cars.
Two companies have emerged as frontrunners in the autonomous vehicle race: General Motors and Waymo. The former plans to commercialize self-driving cars sometime in 2019. But, Waymo, plans to roll out its first robo-taxi service in Arizona later this year. GM has also submitted a request to U.S. Department of Transportation to deploy its Cruise AV without a steering wheel or pedals.