Federal government to release guidelines for self-driving cars tomorrow


Come tomorrow, the federal government through the Department of Transportation will make available its plan to regulate self-driving cars that are ready for deployment.

With the guidelines, companies and consumers alike will know government’s stand when it comes to the safety issues that have been raised about self-driving cars so that companies like Tesla and Uber can release their next generation technology into the waiting hands of the people interested.

It was after feedbacks were gotten from the public that DOT and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration came up with the guidelines. It was also created out of yearning of this car manufacturers’ desire to have one unified guideline and not many laws that are confusing.

Representatives from National Economic Council and DOT had told newsmen that they are avoiding stepping on toes of government which could delay their deployment of the cars nationwide, which could pave way for other nations to get ahead of the U.S.

Although the positions of these two people have been made known, it also is dependent on what states want and this could mean conflicting laws pertaining to the different states.


The states have the power to determine if the cars can run on public roads and how the rules will be enforced. It also has a say in titling and registration method for these cars as well as its insurance and liability.

All other rules pertaining traffic laws and licensing will stand unchanged. However, the licensing of the software for the self-driving cars will be handled by the federal government as long as it meets the standard that has been put forth. This software is expected to meet up with a 15-point standard for safety.

The 15 point standard for safety is not going to be same for all companies as the cars will be evaluated independently based on certain criteria and not a general one. The reason for this is because the manufacturers used different methods in producing the cars.

Some of the safety check as stated by DOT includes:

  • Where the car is expected to operate and how
  • The detection and reaction of the car when an object is approaching
  • What will be the reaction of the car should the software fail
  • The process used in testing and validating the car
  • How it guards the data of the user
  • The way the car shares and also records data
  • On how it will handle ethical dilemmas that can be found on the road

The guidelines will also include that the manufacturers should have a common data sharing method for sharing information that can help the cars run more safely and efficiently. The aim is to have self-driving cars that are being guided effectively.