Ron Medford, the former deputy director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has left the federal government to join Google. Medford will take on a new role as the tech giant's director of safety for self-driving cars. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood praised Medford's work with NHTSA, saying, "no one individual has worked harder to protect the safety of the traveling public."

The former deputy directory had a hand in all of the safety issues NHTSA investigated in recent years and helped set new safety rules and regulations. He also played a large role in finalizing 2017-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements.

NHTSA is currently in the midst of crafting regulations and performance standards for driverless cars, with administrator David Strickland saying the government agency is working on a three-year research project designed to gather data for the task. Google, meanwhile, has already logged some 300,000 miles with its fleet of autonomous vehicles.