Innovation, safety sought in self-driving car guidelines

Author: Associated Press

Tim Carone 150x150

WASHINGTON — Saying they were doing something no other government has done, Obama administration officials rolled out a plan Tuesday they say will enable automakers to get self-driving cars onto the road without compromising safety.

In drawing up 112 pages of guidelines, the government tried to be vague enough to allow innovation while at the same time making sure that car makers, tech companies and ride-hailing firms put safety first as the cars are developed.

Only time will tell whether the mission was accomplished, but the document generally was praised by businesses and analysts as good guidance in a field that’s evolving faster than anyone imagined just a few years ago.

“How do you regulate a complex software system?” asked Timothy Carone, a Notre Dame University professor who has written about the future of automation. “They want to allow innovation, but they want to be very proscriptive in managing the risk side of this. In my mind, they’re trying to manage the unknown.”

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