WASHINGTON — According to an article on The New York Times website, the Obama administration released federal safety guidelines for self-driving cars on Monday, Sept. 19th, at the same time clearly endorsing the new technology.

Jeffrey Zients, director of the National Economic Council, said, “We envision in the future, you can take your hands off the wheel, and your commute becomes restful or productive instead of frustrating and exhausting.” He added that self-driving cars “will save time, money and lives.”

The guidelines, not official regulations, according to the article, focused on four areas: A 15-point safety standard for driverless car development; a call for states to draft uniform policies concerning self-driving cars; a clarification of how current regulations could apply to automated cars; and a statement allowing for future regulations on the technology.

Compared to current auto safety regulations, the guidelines were rather ambiguous, the article continued.

“We left some areas intentionally vague because we wanted to outline the areas that need to be addressed and leave the rest to innovators,” said Bryan Thomas, a spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tesla, Uber and Google are among some of the companies who have already introduced self-driving technology and are openly testing it, the article added.

The government’s endorsement is expected to speed up the introduction of driverless cars into the market, the article stated, perhaps within the next five years.

You can read the full article here.