Exclusive – In boost to self-driving cars, US tells Google computers can qualify as drivers

A Google self-driving car is seen inside a lobby at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California November 13, 2015. Reuters/Stephen Lam WASHINGTON/DETROIT U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), of its decision in a previously unreported Feb. 4 letter to the company posted on the agency’s website this week. Google’s self-driving car unit on Nov. 12 submitted a proposed design for a self-driving car that has “no need for a human driver,” the letter to Google from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Chief Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh…


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