The Obama administration said Monday it was considering seeking the power to review and approve technology for self-driving cars before they hit the road and said U.S. states should not set separate rules.
The U.S. Transportation Department, in its most comprehensive statement yet on autonomous vehicles, also issued voluntary guidelines and urged automakers to certify that their highly automated vehicles were ready for public roads.
Automakers and technology companies are racing to develop vehicles that can drive themselves at least part of the time, and have complained that state and federal safety rules impede the process.
The guidelines call for automakers to agree to a 15-point “Safety Assessment” that includes ways to ensure that the technology works properly, data recording and sharing, a vehicle’s ability to survive a crash, and how it would behave after a crash. It would also include federal oversight of ethical issues such as which of two obstacles a self-driving car should be programmed to hit when a collision cannot be avoided.