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Removing obstacles to self-driving vehicles

Motorists in Texas should be aware that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering ways to set aside regulations that limit the use of self-driving vehicles. In a report that it released, the agency said that it especially wants to focus on the self-driving vehicles that have no controls for human drivers. The agency is seeking opinions about what type of research should be conducted before decisions are made on whether to revamp or get rid of the regulations. However, because it can take years for the agency to finish the necessary research and make changes to the rules, Congress is being prompted to take action.

The NHTSA has stated that it intends to submit an official notice soon asking for comments on the obstacles it faces regarding the use of self-driving vehicles. It is expected to publicize the notice no later than November 2017.

Vehicle manufacturers are required to adhere to almost 75 standards for auto safety. Several of these standards were created based on the assumption that a licensed driver will be operating the vehicle. In 2016, the NHTSA stated that the regulations are obstacles to vehicles that lack human controls. In October 2017, a bill was approved by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee that would hasten the availability of self-driving cars with no human controls. The bill would also permit the agency to set aside the auto safety requirements.

As the majority of car accidents are caused by human error, it is hoped that the widespread availability of autonomous vehicles will dramatically reduce the number of collisions. Until that day comes, however, negligent drivers will still cause crashes, and people who are injured as a result might want to have legal representation when seeking appropriate compensation for the losses that they have incurred.

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