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Author: Subject: FYI #4: U.S. [Fed Govt] Signals Backing for Self-Driving Cars
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[*] Post 504692 posted on 20-9-2016 at 02:41 Reply With Quote
FYI #4: U.S. [Fed Govt] Signals Backing for Self-Driving Cars



FYI: U.S. Signals Backing for Self-Driving Cars

NY Times Article 09/19/16

WASHINGTON — Federal auto safety regulators on Monday made it official: They are betting the nation’s highways will be safer with more cars driven by machines and not people.

In long-awaited guidelines for the booming industry of automated vehicles, the Obama administration promised strong safety oversight, but sent a clear signal to automakers that the door was wide open for driverless cars.

“We envision in the future, you can take your hands off the wheel, and your commute becomes restful or productive instead of frustrating and exhausting,” said Jeffrey Zients, director of the National Economic Council, adding that highly automated vehicles “will save time, money and lives.”

The statements were the most aggressive signal yet by federal regulators that they see automated car technology as a win for auto safety. Yet having officially endorsed the fast-evolving technology, regulators must now balance the commercial interests of companies including Tesla, Google and Uber with concerns over public safety, especially in light of recent crashes involving semiautonomous cars.

The policies unveiled on Monday were designed to walk that line. In a joint appearance, Mr. Zients and Anthony Foxx, secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, released the first guidelines, which outlined safety expectations and encouraged uniform rules for the nascent technology. The instructions signaled to motorists that automated vehicles would not be a Wild West where companies can try anything without oversight, but were also vague enough that automakers and technology companies would not fear overregulation.

Driverless and semiautonomous cars have already hit the open roads, forcing regulators to keep up. Tesla, the electric-car maker, has sold tens of thousands of cars with a self-driving feature known as Autopilot. The company has been grappling with the fallout from the death in May of a Florida driver who had the car’s Autopilot on, as well as a report last week of another crash in China where the technology was apparently turned on [mehere: that crash in China was last January and there is a YouTube video of it--Advisory: it's a graphic video].

The new guidelines on Monday, which stopped short of official regulations, targeted four main areas. The Department of Transportation announced a 15-point safety standard for the design and development of autonomous vehicles; called for states to come up with uniform policies applying to driverless cars; clarified how current regulations can be applied to driverless cars; and opened the door for new regulations on the technology.

The 15-point safety assessment covers a range of issues, including how driverless cars should react if their technology fails, what measures to put in place to preserve passenger privacy, and how occupants will be protected in crashes. The points also include how automakers should approach the digital security of driverless vehicles, and how a car can communicate with passengers and other road users.

The agency also urged driverless-car manufacturers to show how their technology is validated and how they would share data collected by the vehicles. The Department of Transportation also said it would assert its authority to recall semiautonomous and fully autonomous vehicles that it found to be unsafe.

But the guidelines weren’t nearly as specific as the safety requirements imposed on standard human-driven vehicles today.

“We left some areas intentionally vague because we wanted to outline the areas that need to be addressed and leave the rest to innovators,” said Bryan Thomas, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation.

Tesla plans as soon as this week to download new software to its cars. The company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, has said the new software would include improvements to Autopilot that could have avoided the fatal accident in May.

Uber, the ride-hailing giant, began trials in Pittsburgh last week to let its most loyal customers order rides from driverless cars through their smartphone app. Google has been testing self-driving cars in its hometown, Mountain View, Calif., and rivals including Apple are also exploring similar technology.

Me Here: The Uber tests that began last week required a driver at the wheel (a Uber employee) and were to be conducted in a relatively limited geographic area of Pittsburgh; the Pittsburgh newspaper article on this that I read made no mention of how long those requirements would be in place. Nor was there any mention made of whether the tests would be conducted during sleet/ice/snow weather conditions [you can expect some possibility ofice/sleet storms in Nov, but in Dec there is more, and some years there is none].
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[*] Post 504698 posted on 20-9-2016 at 19:32 Reply With Quote


Who pays, if the car injures/kills someone?

The owner? Tesla?
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[*] Post 504700 posted on 20-9-2016 at 21:26 Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by Katzy
Who pays, if the car injures/kills someone?
The owner? Tesla?


This is NOT meant to be an outright sarcastic comment but I will offer up this opinion: more time, energy, and money has already been spent on these type of cars by an army of world class lawyers working for the various car's manufacturers than has been spent on the engineers developing the tech on the subject matter that you've raised.

Before the first prototype hit the streets they have laid out in minutia, contingency plans for any/all legal actions possibilities to include strategies/tactics as to what they will do if/when they are in a court of law, to include the appeals process if a verdict goes against them, not to mention how to drag out the legal process for as long as they can.

And I would include in that that the CEOs, and their high muckyamuck associates have already prepared for a bankruptcy possibility (due to court suits that handed down enormous financial awards, as well as any criminal charges) by salting away their personal financial assets in such a manner that no court anywhere could order them to turn their assets over to the plaintiffs.

These are alpha types who rose to the top by believing with ever fiber in their being that nice/honest people finish last in the rat race. Just look at what the Takata airbag company execs have gotten away with.

Every single word in the cars equivalent of an EULA has been "lawyer proofed".
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