The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this week announced its plans to speed up the process to review and approve automaker self-driving vehicle petitions, according to a report from Reuters.
The process allows the agency to determine whether or not automakers can deploy autonomous cars without devices currently mandated by auto safety standards, such as brakes, steering wheels or other traditional human controls.
Current law allows auto manufacturers to petition for up to 2,500 vehicles to be exempt from vehicle safety standards under the condition that they are safe as existing vehicles.
Earlier this year, carmaker General Motors filed for an NHTSA exemption to use fully automated vehicles in the ride-sharing fleet the company plans to roll out in 2019. The agency has yet to approve the petition.
NHTSA also is reportedly in the process of seeking comment on the integration of vehicle communication technologies.