The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued proposed rules for driverless cars in 2013.
Among the proposed rules are separate licenses after users complete training, and reports from automakers detailing all test collisions with the cars. The NHTSA's statement of policy defined automation as having 4 levels, which go from function-specific automation (level 1), to full self-driving automation (level 4).
"Whether we're talking about automated features in cars today or fully automated vehicles of the future, our top priority is to ensure these vehicles — and their occupants — are safe." Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood
Regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believe the most successful cars would be cars that are able to self-brake -- which will be especially helpful for older people with slower reflexes.
Driverless trucks developed by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army, are able to travel in convoy through urban environments, which could protect troops from IEDs, the company said in January 2014.
California's Dept. of Motor Vehicles on May 20 passed regulations governing the testing of driverless cars on public roads. The regulations, which go into effect on Sept. 16, say manufacturers will have to apply for permits--renewed annually-- and secure $5 million in insurance in order to test on public roads.
On May 27, Google unveiled its first ever made-from-scratch self-driving car. The car has neither a steering wheel nor pedals. Google says it will construct around 100 prototypes with on-road testing beginning by the fall. It will have a top speed of 25 mph to start, and will "take you where you want to go at the push of a button," says Google.
The University of Michigan said in early June that it plans to open a faux-urban test track to study autonomous cars in the fall. The track, a miniature fake city with stoplights and other traffic features, much like the ones used to test new drivers in some states, is scheduled to open in autumn 2014.
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