A few years ago many believed that we are between five and ten years away from self driving cars, while companies like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)
who have been working on the project came up with far smaller time estimates. It is obvious from an article by Alistair Barr on The Wall Street Journal
that the $377.22 billion tech giant was justified in its estimates. The car is ready. However, regulatory hindrances could take years.
It is definitely a frustrating situation for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to be in given that it has a revolutionary product ready to hit the asphalt, a product that it has been working on for nearly a decade, yet regulation wise the company has hit a brick wall. Let us take a deeper look at what these regulatory hurdles actually are.
Conventional car makers test their cars themselves to ensure that they meet federal standards in areas such as braking, steering control, side-impact protection and so on. While there is absence of these federal standards for autonomous cars, there is also debate about who should actually test them. Whether this task should be relegated to car manufacturers like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), or not?
As far as federal standards are concerned, there is a draft of rules that could be worked upon. These rules were introduced by California DMV when it issued permits to companies like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to test their self driving cars on public roads. As far as safety tests are concerned, there isn’t a lot of choice but to relegate the responsibility to the companies themselves with some sort of supervision. The reason being that there has been years of research that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has put in coming up with safety procedures, and governments cant possibly catch up with it in a time efficient manner.
Another issue that is playing on the background is that, the last thing that the government wants is for the whole coming up with regulation affair to look rushed, which would entail that they came up with premature rules, and put the safety of millions of drivers at risk.
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