The nation’s top highway official talks self driving cars

These were among the topics that made for meaty discussions at a two-day symposium hosted by the Federal Highway Administration in Philadelphia this week. After the event, the agency’s acting administrator, Brandye Hendrickson, discussed the federal government’s approach to the nascent technology.

The task of the federal government, she said, is to ensure the technology is safe, convince the public of the technology’s potential, and allow developers latitude to explore a still-evolving industry.

“We don’t want to mandate the technology because we don’t want to hinder innovation,” Hendrickson said after the conference at the Science History Institute in Old City…

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are devising what amounts to a driver’s test for autonomous vehicle software that’s able to simulate driving conditions in virtual reality, something researchers say could be a valuable check on technology that is moving faster than government regulation.