Google’s driverless car system has been declared legal
Google’s self-driving car, a sophisticated piece of artificial intelligence, is one step closer to being allowed on the roads after the US road regulator gave its seal of approval.
A letter from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to Google, published this week, said the driverless system could be given the same legal definition as a real human driver thanks to technological advancements.
The document said: “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.
“In this instance, an item of motor vehicle equipment, the SDS (self-driving system), is actually driving the vehicle.”
Up until this point, driverless cars have not been considered safe or roadworthy – so this is a legal breakthrough for Google.
Now, with the NHTSA’s blessing, the self-driving pod can take the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards test.