Feds May define Computer as ‘Driver’ in Self-Driving Car

U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads.

Reuters reports that the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a letter to Google on Feb. 4 about driverless cars. The letter says "NHTSA will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not to any of the vehicle occupants.” The next step would be to formally rewrite regulations requiring things like steering wheels and foot pedals.