Federal regulators, faced with a growing number of self-driving car tests on roads across the U.S., plan to issue a flurry of new guidelines aimed at automakers and tech companies.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) will require any new tech to meet a 15-point safety assessment, consider new powers to allow administrators to limit the deployment of experimental vehicles and will issue a model for state self-driving car policies aimed at developing a cohesive set of national regulations.
Officials will solicit public comments on the topic of self-driving car regulations for the next 60 days on the U.S. DOT website and plan to update self-driving car policies annually.
Government officials stressed that they reserve the right to create new rules for the growing industry, and reiterated that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will have the power to "remove from the road" any vehicle whose technology poses a safety risk.
The agency specifically noted that certain semi-autonomous driving systems—"ones in which the human continues to monitor the driving environment and perform some of the driving task"—may be subject to recall.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said his agency would be evaluating any non-traditional autonomous vehicle designs and will consider creating new federal standards for designs that remove the steering wheel and pedals from cars. Both Ford and Google have made it explicitly clear such vehicles are their mission.