The government has officially declared that autonomous cars are their own drivers

-THE DAILY DOT, 10 FEBRUARY 2016, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

In the United States, it’s not just corporations who are considered people anymore. Now artificial intelligence is people, too, thanks to a ruling issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA).

According to a letter posted by the NHTSA’s chief counsel Paul A. Hemmersbaugh, the self-driving systems that make autonomous vehicles possible will be considered the driver for the purposes of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Essentially, the computer controlling the car is considered equivalent to what would otherwise be a person behind the wheel.

The letter came in response to a query from Chris Urmson, the director of Google’sself-driving car project. Urmson asked for an interpretation of a number of federal safety provisions as they may apply to Google’s autonomous vehicles. Urmson suggested the standards may not apply at all, or could apply under the assumption the computer controlling the car could be considered the driver. <Read More>