DETROIT – Safety, rather than the rush to be first to market, must be fundamental to the development of autonomous vehicle technology, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The government will move ahead with plans to release new guidelines covering the development of self-driving vehicles later this summer, Foxx said during a speech in San Francisco. But regulators are clearly keeping in mind the series of collisions that have involved Google autonomous vehicle prototypes and the May 9 fatal crash of a Tesla Model S being driven in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.
“We want people who start a trip to finish it,” Foxx said. And while “Autonomous doesn’t mean perfect,” he cautioned that, “We need industry to take the safety aspects of this very seriously.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently began holding hearings on the proposed autonomous vehicle guidelines, and while there has been strong support for the development of the technology, skeptics have also spoken up about the potential risks.
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