NHTSA Does Not Want Self-Driving Cars To Drive By Themselves

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
nhtsa does not want self driving cars to drive by themselves

I’m driven

Everybody seems to be on the bandwagon for self-driving cars, everybody except the NHTSA. In new guidelines, the NHTSA urges states to allow use of self-driving cars “only for testing and requiring safeguards to ensure they can be taken over by a driver in the case of malfunction,” the Detroit News writes.

“We believe there are a number of technological issues as well as human performance issues that must be addressed before self-driving vehicles can be made widely available,” NHTSA said. “Self-driving vehicle technology is not yet at the stage of sophistication or demonstrated safety capability that it should be authorized for use by members of the public for general driving purposes.”

NHTSA wants test drivers to get special licenses. If a state was to allow use of self-driving vehicles by the public, the agency urged them to require a special license and to mandate that person sit in the driver’s seat, ready to take over.

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  • Gmichaelj Gmichaelj on May 31, 2013

    Sure, we'll never be able to come up with a system that can anticipate danger or changing conditions as well as you guys can. Computers being able to recognize patterns and respond is just sci-fi. I suppose all you guys can shift faster than a dual clutch transmission and brake better than an ABS system as well.

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    • Gmichaelj Gmichaelj on May 31, 2013

      @NMGOM Ok, so do you think such a system will have to be near perfect before it is in use? Given all the bad/marginal drivers I see, I wonder how good self driving cars will have to be to give us a significant improvement in traffic flow and fewer accidents.

  • PeteRR PeteRR on May 31, 2013

    Interim step: Outfit cars with sensors and cameras so as to allow operating it by remote control like the Predator drone. Then sign up millions of un/underemployed 3rd world types to drive our cars from a control center in Bangladesh.

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    • Wmba Wmba on May 31, 2013

      Great idea! But how are they going to scrape the ice and road salt off the sensors on a cold morning? You mean they expect ME to do it? Moi? Surely you jest? Why do think I laid out the big bucks for this car, anyway? Harumph.

  • Raph Raph on Jun 01, 2013

    Heh, I can't wait for the Nissan Mr. Roboto GT-R 9000 and its preternatural lap times and the great forum debate over which is better in much the same way people argue over human vs. self shifting transmissions.

  • Wheeler Wheeler on Jun 01, 2013

    Big Brother go ahead and audit me if you like....but please don't take away the sheer fun of driving myself.

    • Lie2me Lie2me on Jun 01, 2013

      +1 Thank you for voicing exactly what I was thinking as I read through all these comments. What about those who really enjoy the complete experience of driving? Will we be forced into these SDCs or will there be the option of not "driving" an SDC? Would it be similar to people who prefer a stick shift over an automatic? Some, including me, think that our cars are already making too many decisions for us as it is. It has been a slow gradual progression towards SDCs since the first automatic transmission was introduced and it has continued ever since to the point where a technologically well optioned car practically reduces the driving experience to passive input. Do we want cars to do it all, do we even have a choice?