Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday it is preparing regulations setting performance standards for autonomous cars — the next "evolutionary step" for the nation's fleet of vehicles.
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said at a forum that the agency is working on a two- to three-year research project before it begins writing rules to oversee driverless cars in the next few years. He hopes the technology could one day save "thousands of lives."
Google Inc., which has been testing driverless vehicles on public roads with a person sitting in the driver seat, has lobbied states to allow the vehicles — and has logged more than 300,000 miles using a fleet of autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads.
NHTSA said it has had "numerous" talks with Google and other companies about the technology.