Google car AI qualifies as a ‘driver,’ US regulator says

A US traffic regulator has said that the artificial intelligence controlling Alphabet Inc’s Google self-piloted car can be considered a driver just like a human. In a recently revealed letter, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that it “will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google’s described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system] and not to any of the vehicle occupants.” The acknowledgement is a big boost for getting the SDSs on the road. The director of Google’s self-driving car project said the agency’s decision “will have major impact” on its development, according to a November letter reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday. This statement however is not an official announcement and it does not mean that Google cars are going to be driving around freely…


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