January 13, 2016 / 6:14 AM / 2 years ago

Obama administration to announce efforts to boost self-driving cars

A Google self-driving car is seen inside a lobby at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California November 13, 2015.Stephen Lam

DETROIT (Reuters) - The Obama administration will announce efforts to boost self-driving cars on Thursday, according to government officials.

Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told reporters that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be in Detroit to talk about administration efforts to speed the introduction of self-driving vehicles.

There is not yet a clear legal framework governing the presence of driverless cars on U.S. roads.

Automakers and technology companies such as Alphabet Inc's Google have called on regulators to clarify guidelines for introduction of autonomous driving technology, in part out of concern that a mishap involving a self-driving car could result in costly litigation.

A Google spokesman said the company will take part in Thursday's announcement by Foxx. Detroit automakers are also likely to participate.

In December, Rosekind said he opposed a "patchwork" of state regulations on driverless cars and promised a "nimble, flexible" approach to writing new rules for self-driving vehicles.

Officials had said President Barack Obama might discuss advanced transportation efforts in his final State of the Union Address on Tuesday, but he did not.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bill Rigby and Clarence Fernandez

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