US Regulators Says Google Computer Can Be Considered Car’s Driver

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, of its decision in a 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 NHTSA Chief Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh said. Related: Will Google’s Robot Cars Have Wireless Chargers? “NHTSA will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google’s described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not…


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