Regulating Autonomous Vehicles

December 2, 2023 (1y ago)

Autonomous Vehicles (AV) could have the potential to change the world, from lowering carbon emissions to an exponential decrease in driver collisions and accidents. However, there are multiple obstacles in its way, including various issues with lidar and radar road imaging for accurate and effective navigation.

In addition to this, there are various safety and legal regulations and precedents to ensure the safety of people in and around AV’s, which are complex to develop. For example, who is responsible in an accident involving a self-driving car, the vehicle’s owner or the manufacturer of the vehicle?

There are also privacy and security concerns that must be addressed. AV’s collect a vast amount of data, including information about the vehicle’s location, speed, and driving patterns. This data must be protected to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has expressed concern about the large amount of data collected by AV’s and the potential for unauthorized and illicit uses of such data.

Cybersecurity experts have also warned that AV’s are vulnerable to cyber attacks that could compromise the safety of the vehicle and its passengers. For instance, a car could be hijacked and deliberately crashed, endangering the lives of its passengers and surroundings. Consequently it is necessary for automotive manufacturers to increase vehicle security to prevent this from occurring.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the organizations responsible for the development of these regulations, has created a set of safety standards that aim to clarify the expectations for passenger safety in vehicles without physical driver capabilities.

Although the federal government has not yet imposed many restrictions on autonomous vehicles, state governments, including California and Texas, have already begun laying the framework for regulations. In conclusion, as the technology evolves, the conjunction and balance of innovation and regulation will be pivotal, and the future of the automotive industry remains to be seen.