Alphabet Inc’s Google unit (GOOGL.O) told U.S. auto safety regulators that the government’s interpretation of motor vehicle safety rules is “extremely important” to its further development of fully self-driving cars.

In a Nov. 12 letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday, the director of Google’s self-driving car project said the agency’s decision on how to construe safety regulations “will have major impact” on its development.

NHTSA told Google in a Feb. 4 letter that it agreed it could consider a Google self-driving computer system as the driver of the vehicle – a major boost to getting self-driving cars on the road. 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.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Paul Lienert; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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