In the USA, the Transportation Department has issued a set of guidelines covering driverless and autonomous cars, one of which is that such vehicles are required to be fitted with a ‘black box’, similar to those used in aircraft, to record details should the car be involved in a crash.
President Barack Obama commented on the guidelines in an article in Pittsburgh’s Post Gazette newspaper. Pittsburgh, incidentally, is the city where Uber is trialling driverless technology.
The President said that a 15-point list has been drawn up that covers a number of aspects of driverless cars; as well as recording crash data, the list covers data protection for customers, in-car controls, security and vehicle testing. The list has been welcomed by the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, whose members include Ford, Google Lyft and Uber; all of whom are developing or exploring the technology surrounding driverless cars.
In his article, President Obama said: “If a self-driving car isn’t safe, we have the authority to pull it off the road. We won’t hesitate to protect the American public.”
He went on: “The quickest way to slam the brakes on innovation is for the public to lose confidence in the safety of new technologies. We’re determined to help the private sector get this technology right from the start, because technology isn’t just about the latest gadget or app – it’s about making people’s lives better.”