With the increasing development of autonomous vehicles, and even some states issuing licenses for self-driving cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided it was high time to lay out a set of rules for these advanced vehicles. According to a Detroit News report, NHTSA is embarking on a research project that could take two to three years, at the conclusion of which, the administration will write rules to govern driverless cars.

According to the report NHSTA administrator David Sctrickland says the technology could possibly save "thousands of lives." It was also reported that NHTSA has been in talks with a number of companies, including Google, regarding the implementation and development of this technology. Google has been testing its own fleet of driverless cars, logging over 300,000 miles on American roads. The tech company says autonomous vehicles could be made available to the public in the next ten years.

The technology has profound implications on the automotive industry and car culture. Strickland calls it a "game changer" and could make it possible for blind drivers or senior citizens who would otherwise have their licenses revoked, the ability to get around town. The savings from cutting down on congestion could result in as much as $100 billion in fuel savings.

But before that, NHTSA says it needs to determine the effectiveness and reliability of these driverless cars. In addition, new crash test standards may need to be developed for these autonomous vehicles. According to Strickland, "We don't want this technology to be commercially available and then there be a vacuum of no federal motor vehicle safer standards." To that end, NHTSA says there is a huge amount of work to be done before autonomous vehicles hit the roads.


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  • 30 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
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      T-Mille
      • 2 Years Ago
      As much as I worry about the end of the car as a fun-to-drive thing, I wouldn't mind taking a nap on the way to college. I suppose I'll still have the track for joyrides.
      bullitt2605
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why do I feel like saying "Hey ya'll hold my beer and watch this" whenever I hear they are actually going through with this.
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      Many years ago people were contemplating when the future is coming, well folks that future is here and now. No longer in it's infancy, just a matter of time before all that large radar, GPS, etc... equipment that makes autonomous cars work gets scaled down in a nice neat package that can fit inside the car.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        mycommentemail
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yeah, I'm really rooting for a Romney victory this November. He. Is. So. Exciting.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        Justin
        • 2 Years Ago
        Don't vote based on personality.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      TheSTIG
      • 2 Years Ago
      I welcome completely autonomous vehicles for public roads. Those who enjoy driving will still have tracks to hoon around on which works. If I could afford it, I'd have a chauffeur on call and NEVER drive on public roads. Self-driving cars lets the rest of us have that luxury.
        Bryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TheSTIG
        I don't want to have to wait to get track time to enjoy driving. 99% of the driving I do is on regular roads. If someone wants to have their car autonomous, then fine. But leave me the option of controlling mine.
        SpeedAddict
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TheSTIG
        Well, if I have to choose between communting next to cars driven by idiots using smartphones, eating food, putting makeup, or just not putting enough attention into driving, and communting next to robo-cars programmed SPECIFICALLY to follow the rules of the road and not crash... I'll take the robo-cars.
        Justin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TheSTIG
        There aren't any tracks near me, so that doesn't work. I'd rather not have a chauffeur, so I don't consider that a "luxury" that I'd want forced on me just because you like it.
      John Hughan
      • 2 Years Ago
      My biggest question is how autonomous vehicles will be handled in insurance claims when the inevitable accidents happen. If an autonomous car and a traditionally driven vehicle collide and the autonomous vehicle is found at fault (due to a malfunction, for example), is the owner of the autonomous car liable even if he/she wasn't driving? Will his/her premiums go up because the car malfunctioned? What if two autonomous vehicles collide?
        oRenj9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Hughan
        Premiums for autonomous cars should remove the driver completely from the equation. Predicting the failure rate of autonomous vehicle will be straight-forward once there are enough of them on the road. However, early adopters might have to have their rates calculated based upon their driving record, but that due to the limited number of samples for the insurance companies to use.
      telm12345
      • 2 Years Ago
      My heart just sank.
      • 2 Years Ago
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        mycommentemail
        • 2 Years Ago
        You are SO absolutely right ABOUT this I can't even BELIEVE it. Also, what a COMPLETELY helpful comment YOU are making. It really advances THE conversation about AUTONOMOUS cars. Thank YOU.
      johnbravo6
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pathetic that in 2012 people still think they need bureaucrats who couldn't get jobs at McDonalds to rule over their lives.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnbravo6
        [blocked]
        mycommentemail
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnbravo6
        Right there with you brother! Just who are these idiots who want a bunch of not-even-able-to-serve-a-hamburger bureaucrats passing laws about automatic cars! Hell, if you have a car that can drive itself, I say let that sucker loose! Best way to see if it is any good is see where it wanders off to. Only way to see if it is dangerous is when it smashes grandma into a bloody pulp. Granny ok? Good. Not ok? Oh well. At least we don't need no stinkin' laws! Or lanes, while we are at it. Or speed limits. Keep up the good fight john. I for one am glad you are workin' hard there at McDonalds, keeping us safe from them bureaucrats selling us fries.
        johnbravo6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnbravo6
        You're both perfect examples. Why would google create cars that kill people? And what would they gain from it. There's a thread about retards you belong in.
          mycommentemail
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnbravo6
          John. I'm totally on your side. Why the hate? I also agree that we shouldn't have any laws about autonomous vehicles. Letting bureaucrats decide whether they should be allowed on the roads is just another freedom we have lost. We don't need them telling us whether we can let these cars loose or not. Anybody who thinks they have a working stab at one should just, you know, go for it. I'm with you on this one. Also, could you send me a link to your retard thread. I like you and would hate to think you are all alone in there.
          johnbravo6
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnbravo6
          Hey! You didn't answer my question. When you go back to junior college for basic electronics, take some logic while you're in there. And don't worry about getting in an accident. The NHTSA exists specifically to prevent them. Ergo, they don't exist.
          mycommentemail
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnbravo6
          John, Not sure where the animosity is coming from. We are both on the same side here. The article you responded to was about the NHTSA deciding on some standards that autonomous cars would have to meet before being allowed on the road. I cannot imagine a more blatant power grab by the fascist governmental forces than this. Yours was the first of many cogent and thoughtful cries in the dark against this awful tyranny. You correctly identified the NHTSA employees as the same ones who, prior to their current tenure ruling over our lives with iron fists, failed to get hired when they applied to a fast food restaurant (you suggested it was McDonalds but my sources cannot 100% confirm this). You also derided, quite effectively I think, anyone who would want "standards" and "laws" governing the unfettered release of these cars on our roads as "idiots". Of course, the final nail in the coffin of the other side was when you so effectively and brilliantly note that the year is, in fact, 2012. With regard to your question, I assume it was directed at the other commenter. I too would like to know why Google would create cars that kill people? The answer is they wouldn't! So take that! Nor would my cousin Billy when he lets his "autonomous" car loose on the road. Or that science project by the junior college down the road. Or anyone else for that matter. If Google wouldn't want to kill people, then nobody needs to meet any kind of standards in this regard. Pretty obvious there Mr. other commenter! John, I fear that it is just you and me here shining the light of logic on these other uninformed, freedom hating people. But they will never truly understand the service we are providing them. You cannot expect them to understand such advanced concepts as: if there is even one accident on the road then the NHTSA hasn't had any effect and we shouldn't ave any traffic laws at all. Pitiful.
          johnbravo6
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnbravo6
          I never used the word idiot. That's just your guilty conscience. Ever wonder why new laws generally come into existence only after heavy and targeted lobby campaigns? You stopped being cute or funny long before you started. And you're still trying way too hard, and proving me more right than I ever could.
        oRenj9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnbravo6
        Are you complaining about the government is doing its job?
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