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Ron Medford  (Source: inautonews.com)
He will become the director of safety for self-driving cars at Google

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) deputy director will be leaving the government agency to pursue a career with Google. 

Ron Medford, deputy director of the NHTSA, has announced that he will be leaving his current position to become the director of safety for self-driving cars at Google

Medford joined the NHTSA in 2003 and was promoted to deputy director in 2009. Before that, he worked for the Consumer Product Safety Commission for many years. He was a key player in huge NHTSA projects like the 2017-2025 corporate average fuel economy requirements, which upped the fleetwide average to 54.5 MPG in 2025. 

"While I am excited to embark on this new adventure, I am deeply saddened to leave this agency and the many incredible staff who have committed your lives to making people safer on our roadways," said Medford. "I am at a loss for words to describe the emotion and gratitude I feel for the people I have come to know and admire at NHTSA. 

"Many of you have spent decades here at this special agency because of the powerful impact it has on reducing deaths and injuries that would otherwise leave families devastated — and I will always think of NHTSA and of your work with the utmost respect and appreciation. I have no doubt that your commitment to safety will continue to inspire me in the years to come."

Google has been working hard to get autonomous cars on the road. The tech giant recently logged 300,000 accident-free miles in the self-driving cars, and it even got the state of California to allow these vehicles on its roads, as long as there is a licensed driver in the passenger seat. 

Just last month, the NHTSA said it would work on a two-to-three year research project for autonomous vehicles before setting standards for such vehicles. 

Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, said Medford would be missed at the government agency.

"I often say that safety is the number one priority at the Department of Transportation, and no one individual has worked harder to protect the safety of the traveling public than Ron Medford, "said LaHood.

Source: The Detroit News



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Interesting...
By Moishe on 11/20/2012 4:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Google has been working hard to get autonomous cars on the road. The tech giant recently logged 300,000 accident-free miles in the self-driving cars, and it even got the state of California to allow these vehicles on its roads, as long as there is a licensed driver in the passenger seat.


So technically, there are probably Google engineers riding in the self-driving car to work and back. California says it's OK, but they are basically allowing Google to beta-test those on the road. One bad move and people get killed.

I would think that there would be some kind of certification process to allow those kinds of vehicles on the road. Google's code better be approaching the NASA shuttle computer code in terms of reliability, not because of the expense of an accident but because of the cost of human life if a bug occurs.

All that being said, I think the cars are awesome and I would love to program my car to make a long trip and be able to read or play games while the car does the work.




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