Government paves way for driverless cars to hit the roads – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

To fast-track to a future where cars drive themselves, the freewheeling tech world and the historically buttoned-up auto industry joined forces to develop autonomous vehicles.

But behind the rapid-fire innovation of the last few years, questions loomed over whether the federal government would welcome the complete overhaul of driving as we know it — or if it would put up regulatory roadblocks to slow the industry’s efforts. 

Now it appears that robot cars are getting the green light. On Tuesday, the Department of Transportation marked a milestone when it issued far-reaching — yet flexible — guidelines that pave the way for self-driving cars to hit the roads without much red tape.

It’s a victory for innovation: Silicon Valley stalwarts have long complained of too much oversight, while automakers fretted that there wasn’t a clear road map for how to roll out autonomous vehicles. The 116-page document released by the department squarely puts tech companies, carmakers and the government on the same side.

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