Law360 Quotes Susan Lent on NHTSA Decision on Self-Driving Cars

Akin Gump partner Susan Lent, head of the firm’s infrastructure and transportation practice, has been quoted in the Law360 article “Nuro Self-Driving Car’s OK Sets Course For New Exemptions.” The article reports on a decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to give the robotics company Nuro Inc. permission to deploy self-driving vehicles to deliver food and packages.

Law360 notes that Nuro was granted the federal government’s first-ever temporary exemption from having to comply with certain Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The company’s petition, the article says, could serve as a template for other developers seeking approval to get their automated driving systems on public roads.

It could be a while, though, before fleets of autonomous vehicles carrying passengers become the norm on American roads, according to the article. Lent agrees, pointing out that adopting regulations takes time.

In addition, Lent said, “the administration has been mindful of the fact that technology is rapidly evolving so that it should be more performance-focused rather than prescriptive. I don’t have any reason to think this approach will change in the short term.”