From the Silicon Valley Business Journal

Google won an important battle in a larger war last week when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told the company that it would consider the artificial intelligence system that pilots its autonomous cars to be a “driver,” under federal law.

Google had asked NHTSA for such a ruling last November, and the regulatory agency replied last week, although Reuters first discovered it on NHTSA’s website Wednesday.The letter, http://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/Google%20–%20compi… which refers to the car’s “Self-Driving System (SDS),” will allow Google to ultimately sell vehicles without pedals, steering wheel or other devices that would allow a person in the vehicle to override the system. Production of consumer versions of these vehicles will require rewriting regulations that could take several years.

The tech giant is also assembling a team of traditional and nontraditional suppliers to rev up the timeline to get the cars on the road. Manufacturers interested in Google’s efforts include General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Daimler AG and Volkswagen, according to Reuters.

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