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Government releases guidelines for automated vehicles

While new technology is often met with excitement, many drivers in California and across the nation have concerns about self-driving or automated vehicles. In an attempt to quell increasing anxiety about the safety of these vehicles, new guidelines have been released which are intended to ensure a secure driving experience for all who share the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released the new safety guidelines, which focus on several different topics. State requirements are just one area of interest, particularly when it comes to individual automated vehicles complying with any local or regional regulations. The end goal is to have consistent safety standards across all states to make certain laws governing automated vehicles remain well-matched.

The actual performance of automated vehicles is another concern for officials, which has led to the need for methods of testing vehicles before they are released to the general public. These standards are intended to afford groups involved in the testing and distribution of automated vehicles established methods of determining a vehicle’s ability to perform. The NHTSA also encourages an open sharing of testing data, which can then be used to further develop performance criteria. Additionally, automated vehicles are required to meet all existing regulations.

Officials hope that these guidelines can help address the concerns many drivers have regarding automated vehicles. The New York Times lays out some potential issues with self-driving vehicles, including the navigation of unexpected detours. Three-dimensional mapping plays a huge role in an automated vehicle’s route, and if detours are not present on maps the vehicle may run into issues. The unexpected nature of modern travel is also important. This is an issue of vehicle programming, and some question whether all possible occurrences (such as a child or animal suddenly running onto to the road) can be addressed using current technology. 

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