El Goog has been experimenting with autonomous vehicles for a while, and now it's hiring a government man to help handle the red tape and get them on the roads. Ron Medford will be leaving his job as second in command (Deputy Administrator) at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and joining the search giant in January as the Director of Safety for Self-Driving Cars. Google's prototype robot chauffeurs have navigated over 300,000 miles of US road, but to graduate from the testing stage will require just as much regulatory expertise as it will tech smarts. That's where Medford comes in, who will be paying close attention to the NHTSA's multi-year project to define standards for self-driving cars, which started only recently. Now, hopefully, we won't have to wait as long for those stressful journeys as pilot to become relaxing jaunts as fleshy cargo.
[Image Credit: Getty Images / Brendan Hoffman]