Public hearing debates pros, cons of autonomous cars
At its second public hearing on self-driving cars this year, NHTSA heard from advocates, to include Google and go-slow proponents such as Consumer Watchdog.
At the meeting at Stanford University, Googleês self-driving car boss Chris Urmson told NHTSA officials that it was critical to autonomous vehiclesê success and to public safety to develop federal regulations that would apply nationwide. Urmson said Google has watched 15 states develop different laws in the past 12 months.
Vehicle-safety standards are not the expertise of the states, and expecting states to take on this role will only lead to inconsistent safety requirements, Urmson said, according to USA Today.
But John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog said Google was only acting in its own self-interest and that the company should be more transparent about the many times a human driver has had to take control in its self-driving car. Simpson said to NHTSA officials, Innovation will thrive hand-in-hand with thoughtful, deliberate regulation. Consumer Watchdog wants NHTSA to require a human driver with a steering wheel, brake and accelerator as a backup in all self-driving vehicles.Download Bulletin PDF