Some self-driving cars see green light, others get a yield

-AUTOBLOG, 12 MARCH 2016, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

Manufacturers that choose to build self-driving cars that hew closely to the design of traditional vehicles will enjoy a ride in the fast lane toward their development while manufacturers that push for more unconventional designs face roadblocks.

Those are the conclusions of a government report released Friday, which found that autonomous developers who experimented with new cabin configurations or removed human controls like steering wheels and brake pedals would be “constrained” by the current federal motor vehicle safety standards.

The report, produced by the Transportation Department’s Volpe Center, comes at a time when federal officials are in the midst of a six-month push to examine how existing rules and regulations might need to adapt to accommodate the arrival of autonomobiles on American roads. It examined how current motor-vehicle standards might apply to different levels of autonomous vehicles, but did not endorse one approach versus another. <Read More>