Get Out Of My Way, Robot! Are Self-Driving Cars Even Legal?

It may take some getting used to—but it looks like a better way to travel. What do you think?


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Are Self-Driving Cars Legal?

Self-Driving Cars: Laws You Need to Know

Watch where you’re going, robot!

  • Can a car legally drive itself?
  • It’s still a gray area for many
  • Only 4 states have passed bills on automated driving
  • Google has been pushing for legislation in this area and works with local police, logging thousands of hours on the road
  • Google’s first self-driving car accident happened 2/14/16a Google autonomous vehicle collided with a bus]
  • What exactly is self-driving according to the law?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

  • Level 0 – No Automation:
    • Driver controls all the functions of the car
  • Level 1 – Function Specific Automation
    • One or more specific control systems are automated
    • Example: Assisted braking or stability control
  • Level 2 – Combined Function Automation
    • At least two of the control systems are automated in unison
    • Example: Adaptive cruise control with lane centering
  • Level 3 – Limited Self Driving Automation
    • All the critical systems like steering, brakes and throttle are automated
    • The car monitors conditions to require a transition back to driver control
  • Level 4 – Full Self Driving Automation
    • All systems are fully automated requiring no human intervention
  • Who are the self-driving car players? There are Many more than you think!
    • Google
      • Working prototypes are already on the road in Mountain View, CA
    • Tesla
      • 325,000 units were pre-sold in the first week after the model-S announcementmaking it the largest week of sales for any company in history totaling $14 billion
      • All built with auto-pilot mode
    • Uber
      • Hired engineers from Ford, Google, and others to build self-driving cars
  • By 2020, there will be an estimated 10 million fully self-driving cars on the road
    • What are the benefits?
      • Fully self-driving cars will make people’s lives easier and safer
      • According to KPMG, it’s estimated that 2,500 fewer deaths will occur in the UK by 2030