Regulators know how bad human driving is and will push ahead with imperfect automated driving

On Friday, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Mark Rosekind told an audience in Detroit, Michigan that car makers “cannot wait for perfect” when it comes to developing and deploying self-driving car technology. The Wall Street Journal reported that Rosekind said automation would “save people’s lives” in a time when auto fatalities have been up 8 percent since 2014.

Despite Tesla’s most recent crash, regulators seem enthusiastic about getting more autonomous vehicles on the road in the near future. Earlier this week, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told an audience in San Francisco that “autonomous doesn’t mean perfect,” but that “we need industry to take the safety aspects of this very seriously.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Foxx said new safety guidelines, including “pre-market approval steps,” would help to “clear lines of responsibility between industry, government, and consumers.”

The Times added that Foxx addressed concerns about regulation stunting autonomous vehicle development. He “promised that the approach would be flexible, with a lot of input from businesses, drivers, and technology experts.”

SOURCES – Wall Street Journal, Ars Technica, LA Times