Recently, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has granted a Google request that the artificial intelligence system behind its self-driving vehicles be considered the “driver” of the vehicle under federal automobile safety laws. Chris Urmson, Director of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project wrote a letter to the NHTSA in order to explain why having a human driver potentially in control of a driverless car would be risky. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles is working on new regulations for the everyday use of autonomous cars with the goal of releasing them in the next year, standards deemed by Google as limiting the development of such technologies.The redefinition of “driver” by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an important break for Google, which is developing self-driving cars that get around without steering wheels, pedals – or even the need for a person to be inside. But the agency but stopped short of agreeing to immediately waive all safety rules needed to allow fully self-driving cars on the roads as sought in Google’s letter. In fact, according to NHTSA’s interpretation of Google’s intent, simply letting a human override the Google AI would be “detrimental to safety”. The recognition is significant for Google and other companies that are trying to bring true self-driving cars to market-ones that don’t rely on a licensed human driver as a backup.