NHTSA: There are ‘significant’ legal hurdles to deployment of fully autonomous cars

NHTSA: There are ‘significant’ legal hurdles to deployment of fully autonomous cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Friday that self-driving cars -- which do not have steering wheels or brake/gas pedals -- can be made available for purchase by in the US only after they clear some potentially 'significant' legal hurdles.

However, NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge said pointed out that a new report released by the agency on Friday shows there were fewer legal hurdles in deploying self-driving cars with human controls, compared to fully autonomous cars.

The NHTSA's mention of legal hurdles in the way of bringing self-driving cars to the market comes at a time when new guidance on self-driving cars is being prepared by the NHTSA to states, policymakers and companies. The agency is likely to release the new guidance in July this year.

Meanwhile, it is Friday-released report, the NHTSA has said that while working on new guidance it wants to "ensure that existing regulations do not unduly stifle innovation and to help ensure that automated vehicles perform their functions safely."

In addition, the NHTSA also said that some vehicle safety regulations will probably be waived by the agency, so that self-driving cars can run on US roads. The move will apparently be a part of the NHTSA's broader effort to expedite the development of self-driving vehicles.