Autonomous-Car Regulations: Lawmakers Are Ready To Let Go of the Steering Wheel

"In large part, the SELF DRIVE Act should assuage companies’ concerns that their science projects could be sidelined by ­legislators. Even with a green light to build outside the current ­regulations, though, manufacturers won’t flood our roads with robocars the day after such a bill becomes law. “The conventional wisdom for years has been that automated vehicles are ready and that it’s the law or lawyers that are holding them back, and that’s empirically, demonstrably incorrect,” says Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant professor of law and engineering at the University of South Carolina. “Developers of these systems aren’t necessarily sure about their own technologies’ applications or business cases. In some cases, they’re not sure how safe is safe enough from an internal perspective, from a design perspective, and how they’ll demonstrate that internally, much less externally.”"