Self driving car could be given same legal definition as human drivers

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Is the future finally here?

In a huge legal breakthrough for Google, it looks as though their self-driving test vehicle could be given the same legal definition as a human driver.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which sets rules and regulations on America’s roads, shared its thoughts in a letter to Google. This indicates for the first time, that due to the tech advancements in artifical intelligence that Google have demonstrated, a driverless car could now be considered roadworthy. “If no human occupant of the vehicle can actually drive the vehicle, it is more reasonable to identify the driver as whatever (as opposed to whoever) is doing the driving,” it said, “In this instance, an item of motor vehicle equipment, the Self-Driving System, is actually driving the vehicle.”

So what does this mean in practice? Well, the car now fits the criteria to pass the basic Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Test, which makes it one step closer to actually being allowed on public roads.

There’s still a long regulatory road ahead, but this is a great first step.

What do you think of self-driving cars – would you like one? And more importantly, would you take a lift in one? Let us know at @Liftshare!

Author Lex Barber

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