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  (Source: inhabitat.com)
The research will include topics such as safety standards (such as crashtest results) and software security (to ensure that hackers don't take over)

Recognizing that autonomous vehicles are the future of the automotive industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that it is getting ready to create performance standards and regulations for the driverless cars through an extensive research project.
 
The NHTSA said today that it will partake in a two- to three-year research project that will lead to new rules and regulations for autonomous vehicles. The research will include topics such as safety standards (such as crashtest results) and software security (to ensure that hackers don't take over). 
 
Autonomous cars could prove to be beneficial in terms of reducing congestion and fuel use. They could also assist those who are unable to drive, such as the elderly and those who are blind.  
 
Google is one major technology company that is backing the deployment of autonomous vehicles -- mainly because it has been testing its own driverless vehicles on public roads. The company recently logged 300,000 accident-free miles
 
Last month, California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a bill to create safety standards for autonomous vehicles after taking a cruise in one himself. Senate Bill 1298 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) states that self-driving cars can be used on public roads for testing purposes only as long as there is a licensed operator in the driver's seat. 
 

Source: The Detroit News



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RE: overreach
By bsd228 on 10/25/2012 2:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
> With automated vehicles, you can clump them closer together (since braking by the front vehicle can be detected and responded to almost instantly by trailing vehicles).

I think we could quickly take it a step beyond that and couple cars together like a train, getting maximum efficiency. For long hauls like between LA and San Francisco, these clumps could persist for hundreds of miles. There, software isn't as critical, but for shorter distances like a 20 mile commute, you really needs the power of software that knows the destinations of every member for intelligent decisions to be made about when to disengage the vehicle. Individually we're just not capable of acting in concert.

As you write, huge increases in capacity can be realized. In some sections, like bridges, where no one is exiting for at least a few miles, you can eliminate most of the lane spacing as well and add a couple more lanes of traffic.


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