Addressing the Dangers of Partially Driverless Cars

Cars with features that allow a carefully monitoring driver to remove both hands from the steering wheel and foot from the pedal—known as partially driverless cars—are already on the road. And many vehicle manufacturers have released plans to add these features in at least some of their car models within the next 12 months. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also currently working to regulate fully driverless cars, which have not yet been released.

But according to Tracy Hresko Pearl, a Professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, NHTSA is doing little to address partially driverless cars that are already on the roads…

Pearl argues for greater regulation at both the federal and state level. At the federal level, Pearl explains, the U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA regulate vehicle design and equipment, as well as set safety standards for all new vehicles. States, by contrast, regulate drivers’ behavior and vehicle operation through traffic laws and the issuance of drivers’ licenses.