In a move praised by major automakers, the federal government will announce official autonomous vehicle guidelines to lay a foundation for regulating the rapidly expanding technology.
“Federal officials will take the unprecedented step of asserting oversight over the software that operates self-driving vehicles when they publish a set of autonomous vehicle guidelines Tuesday,” the White House said in a statement.
The guidelines, known as the Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles, arrive at a time when states are competing to sway companies in making a particular state their home base. Particularly, Michigan has been at the forefront to become an autonomous vehicle mecca.
Under the framework, states would still be entirely responsible for issuing licenses, registration and regulating insurance, but the federal government looks to create symmetry among the numerous states potentially expanding into autonomous driving, according to The Detroit News.
The NHTSA is being applauded for expanding flexibility and moving quickly to help usher in the technology. The agency announced it will “expedite responses to requests for exemptions from existing standards to accommodate designs for autonomous vehicles to six months.” As the report points out, normally, this could take years.
General Motors said it supported “the efforts to speed deployment of autonomous vehicles as a technology that has the potential to dramatically improve safety on our roads and highways and expand mobility options.”