NHTSA Official Joins Google as Safety Director for Self-Driving Cars


Self-dri­ving cars just received a big kudos with the Nation­al High­way Traf­fic Safe­ty Administration’s deputy direc­tor Ron Med­ford leav­ing the agency . Med­ford has more than 40 years in gov­ern­ment posi­tions and was a key play­er in the final­iz­ing the 54.5 mpg cor­po­rate aver­age fuel econ­o­my by 2025 stan­dards. At NHTSA, he’s been heav­i­ly involved in major safe­ty issues NHTSA has been inves­ti­gat­ing in recent years, along with set­ting new safe­ty rules.

Google thinks dri­ver­less cars could be avail­able to con­sumers with­in a decade; the com­pa­ny has played a lead­ing role in Neva­da, Cal­i­for­nia, and Flori­da agree­ing to test and prob­a­bly adopt dri­ver­less cars in the state in com­ing years. Safe­ty and lit­i­ga­tion issues are being ana­lyzed, and NHTSA has tak­en on forum meet­ings recent­ly to explore impli­ca­tions at the fed­er­al lev­el. NHTSA Admin­is­tra­tor David Strick­land said at a recent meet­ing 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. Strick­land hopes the tech­nol­o­gy could one day save thou­sands of lives.

‚ÄúI often say that safe¬≠ty is the num¬≠ber one pri¬≠or¬≠i¬≠ty at the Depart¬≠ment of Trans¬≠porta¬≠tion, and no one indi¬≠vid¬≠ual has worked hard¬≠er to pro¬≠tect the safe¬≠ty of the trav¬≠el¬≠ing pub¬≠lic than Ron Med¬≠ford,‚ÄĚ said Trans¬≠porta¬≠tion Sec¬≠re¬≠tary Ray LaHood. ‚ÄúThanks to his exten¬≠sive expe¬≠ri¬≠ence with auto¬≠mo¬≠bile safe¬≠ty, his skills as a man¬≠ag¬≠er, and his tire¬≠less work eth¬≠ic, he has been an indis¬≠pens¬≠able part of our efforts to make cars safer, elim¬≠i¬≠nate acci¬≠dents caused by drunk and dis¬≠tract¬≠ed dri¬≠ving, and improve fuel econ¬≠o¬≠my for dri¬≠vers across the coun¬≠try.‚ÄĚ



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