Artificial intelligence can legally ‘drive’ a car

google-car_1024In a major step forward for self-driving cars and the industry seeking to manufacture them, US highway authorities have informed Google that its autonomous vehicle systems could qualify as a “driver” in the eyes of the law.

A letter addressed to the company from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that if self-driving vehicles (SDVs) can satisfy a number of safety standards, the fact that artificial intelligence (AI) is controlling the car – in the absence of any human controls – would not be a barrier to the car legally driving on US roads.

Advocates of self-driving vehicles point out that statistically, they’re much less deadly than human drivers on the roads, but safety concerns mean they’re still in all likelihood several years away from ferrying us around. Aside from the efficiency of their AI-based systems, there’s also the question of security, with today’s Internet-connected vehicles already giving significant cause for concern when it comes to hacking.

Read the article on Science Alert