The National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked for feedback on the state of autonomous vehicles and how current U.S. regulations can be refined to promote research and deployment.
The NHTSA released a report on potential rule changes on Friday, which states the agency is looking for comments "to identify any unnecessary regulatory barriers" to the deployment of autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads. NHTSA said that input relating to regulatory barriers is key, as well as any thoughts relating to hurdles companies face when attempting to test their self-driving vehicles.
Compliance issues are a serious problem for vendors researching and developing self-driving car technologies. In particular, the agency recognizes that vehicle designs not equipped with controls for a human driver are a stumbling block, such as a lack of a steering wheel, brakes, or accelerator pedals.
Any comments submitted will be considered in future amendments to federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) and other rules related to self-driving technologies. The formal notice to the public is expected to be announced next month.
In September, Congress passed the Self Drive Act by voice, which would exempt automakers from some federal and state regulations, and encourage self-driving vehicle tests and deployment if the proposal makes it through the Senate. Should the act pass, NHTSA must come up with clear-cut rules for self-driving vehicles within a decade.