U.S. to Evaluate Safety, Reliability of Driverless Cars

Mercury News is reporting that the Obama administration plans to launch a new research initiative to determine the reliability and safety of the technology behind driverless cars.

David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at a recent industry gathering that the agency has held extensive discussions with automakers and Google about the steps that need to happen prior to the introduction of this vehicle to consumers.

“Automated vehicles offer an important and challenging method for reducing crash risk that we believes holds great promise,” Strickland said. “We have the chance of … saving thousands and thousands of lives as the vehicle fleet (cars in use today) turns over.”

The technology that Google is planning to bring to the roads will enable drivers to keep their feet off the pedals and hands off the wheel. While they can retake control of the vehicle if necessary, the driver will now be responsible for watching the vehicle instead of the road. Can you imagine entering your destination and letting the computer drive?

Strickland did not share when the government would release its safety recommendations, but they would need to be a different evaluation of safety. One of the key questions that needs to be answered revolves around whether the software can handle complicated situations. Additionally, many are wondering if a human driver will need be necessary.

These cars could have many benefits besides reducing traffic deaths. They can serve as an alternative form of transportation for the elderly and the blind.

It could be decades before this car is available at dealerships. The Arnie Bauer team is curious. Would you purchase one of these vehicles?

Source: Mercury News

Photo Courtesy of U.S. News

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