Good news for autonomous vehicle fans: the Trump administration has opened the door for self-driving vehicles to hit the road sooner than expected.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the new guidelines are voluntary and will increase the flexibility for car and tech companies to experiment with self-driving technology without becoming beholden to federal mandates.
The new guidelines will encourage public disclosure of voluntary safety assessments but specify that they are not subject to federal approval. There will be no waiting periods before testing or deployment can begin, the person said.
The new guidelines also confirm the government’s existing authority over recalls. They also lay out best practices for state legislatures and regulators, including incorporating common safety-related components that states can consider incorporating in legislation.
These new guidelines come on the same day the National Transportation Safety Board meets to issue a ruling on a fatal crash in a Tesla last year, which was being operated on a semi-autonomous mode called Autopilot. Consumer groups have been concerned that self-driving cars are not safe enough for the road, and without strict federal guidelines, cannot be trusted in a broad market.
Self-driving cars are still uncharted territory for drivers and car companies alike, but if developers are willing to take risks, we could be seeing revolutionary vehicles in the very near future.
Here’s a video from The Wall Street Journal showing the latest development in electric cars.