NHTSA Proposes Modernized Vehicle Safety Standards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a proposal to modernize federal vehicle safety standards.

The proposal also addresses ambiguities in current occupant protection standards for automobiles that are equipped with automated driving systems (ADS) designed without traditional manual controls.

The NHTSA is proposing that safety requirements for vehicles with ADS that do not have traditional manual controls be adapted. Requirements and test procedures would be revised to account for removal of manually operated driving controls.

Regulations that were put into place before the development of automated technologies may not need to apply to new ADS vehicles. The idea is to remove barriers to innovative vehicle designs; public comment is encouraged.

This proposal would not change existing occupant protection requirements for traditional vehicles. The NHTSA recently highlighted safety innovations that have saved lives by making driving and riding in cars safer. Perhaps new vehicle designs will make the roads even safer in the decades to come.

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