U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), of its decision in a previously unreported Feb. 4 letter to the company posted on the agency’s website this week.


(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing By Cynthia Osterman)

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