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Google car software attains ‘driver’ status

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave Google an impressive win, with conditions, by stating the software that controls self-drivng Google car can be defined as the driver.

Google had requested the NHTSA interpret the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in regards to the company's self driving car project. The NHTSA in a letter gave Google the thumbs up on several points, including considering the Self Driving System software, and not any of the occupants, the vehicle's driver.

“As a foundational starting point for the interpretations below, NHTSA will interpret driver in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS, and not to any of the vehicle occupants,” the NHTSA wrote.

Google still faces some roadblocks. The NHTSA said the company will have to work around rules stating a car must have basic safety features, like brakes and a steering wheel.

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