Google’s artificial intelligence could count as a car’s driver, federal regulator says

Google Inc.’s self-driving system, controlled by artificial intelligence, could be considered a car’s driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.In a letter posted on NHTSA’s website, the agency responded to Google’s request for interpretation of several federal safety standards as they apply to the tech giant’s self-driving cars. As a premise of the interpretation, “NHTSA 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,” Paul Hemmersbaugh, chief counsel, said in the letter. “We agree with Google its SDV [self-driving vehicle] will not have a driver in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than 100 years.”Google’s vehicle design removes conventional controls such as steering wheels and brake pedals, as the company…


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