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Obama Administration to Invest $4 bln on Self-Driving Cars

January 18
10:25 PM 2016

Now, the US government is starting to work on a national policy for autonomous cars, and it's promising to invest $4 billion  over the course of the next 10 years to accelerate the development and adoption of safe vehicle automation through real-world pilot projects. The idea here is to work with the technology industry and auto manufacturers to test connected and autonomous cars in designated corridors throughout the country. The policy including a program to test self driving cars by investing in technologically connected road.

According to USAtoday, Over the next six months, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will come up with a prototype policy and develop best-practices for automakers.

Foxx and NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind have said their goal is to one day have no deaths attributable to car accident. Today, about 4 in 5 accident are due to driver's mistake.

"We ask ourselves. What if human error could be aliminated? That is a possibility worth pursuing." Foxx told reporters on the floor of the North American International Auto Show.

Just last week as reported by ABCNews, General Motors announced a $500 million invesment in Lyft, in part to develop a fleet of on-demand autonomous cars. In a report submitted to the California DMV, Google acknowledge that its driveless cars 'disengaged' 272 times between September 2014 and November 2015. Another 69 times, the driver felt compelled to take the wheel even though the software hadn't disengaged, the report said.

Google determined 13 of those 69 events were what the company called 'simulated contacts'. In other words the simulator determined the car would have crash into something if the driver had not taken over.

Quoted from Techcrunch, Google will likely be happy that the DOT and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are also looking at rules for cars that were designed without a human driver in mind. For now, the state that have policies around self-driving vehicles still require a human driver behind a steering wheel who can take over control if necessary. The DOT is also asking car manufacturers to submit rule interpretation requests to see if their autonomous driving feature meet its standard.

Ten years is obviously a long time, but even though the incumbent in the car industry are starting to move faster. There are also still plenty of technological and regulatory hurdles to overcome before sel-driving cars will be able to drive down any street. Newcomers like google and Tesla will work Faster than established car company.  

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