Autonomous Cars Get Rules of the Road
- The U.S. government has issued its first set of rules for automated vehicles, signalling a desire to encourage their development—as long as they’re safe. The new guidelines include a 15-point safety assessment, which covers issues such as cybersecurity, black box recorders, and how to deal with ethical conundrums on the road. The policy will undoubtedly shape an industry set to be worth billions of dollars as it heads towards commercial use, though states will remain responsible for enforcing regulations regarding human control of vehicles. Writing about the guidelines in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, President Obama explained that autonomous vehicles could provide “safer, more accessible driving [and] less congested, less polluted roads.” But he did sound a note of caution for automakers, adding: “make no mistake: If a self-driving car isn’t safe, we have the authority to pull it off the road.” That's advice that companies rushing to ready autonomous cars—including Lyft, which was yesterday openly bullish about the future of automated taxis—may do well to acknowledge.