The White House just introduced the first federal self-driving car policy. Before this policy, the majority of regulations was ad hoc and introduced by a smattering of federal agencies. The purpose of this new policy is to coordinate these various agencies and facilitate a self-driving car future. This post will discuss the new Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.

The FAVP is a broad-based policy that set up a national framework to address self-driving cars. The policy includes a broad safety guide, design, development, and testing. The release also includes a model policy that the states may utilize to jump-start their autonomous vehicle frameworks. The policy also includes a series of exemptions to streamline the process of bringing self-driving cars to market.

But, the primary thrust of the policy is to address issues of liability, specifically, who is liable if there is an accident involving a self-driven car? The policy clarifies that when a human is operating the vehicle, the normal rules of state liability law would apply. But when software is controlling the vehicle, the autonomous vehicle policy will take over.

Many self-driving car supports applaud the new policy. It organizes a general federal framework from which the states may operate. Moreover, the new policy is nicely timed as several companies began offering self-driving car services, including Uber in Pittsburg.

Alongside the new regulations, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, emphasized a new policy that it will continue to assert recall authority over semi-autonomous cars.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, then you may want to speak to a lawyer. Injuries, even in self-driven cars, may still result in an actionable claim for compensation. You don’t want to risk your right to recovery.

Source: New Atlas, “White House policy puts US on the road to a self-driving future,” Eric Mack, Sept. 19, 2016