NHTSA head Cliff is leaving to run California Air Resources Board

Dr. Steven Scott Cliff, nominee to be administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, testifies throughout a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee affirmation listening to in Russell Building on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

The Department of Transportation stated on Friday that Steven Cliff, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, plans to go away the company in September after three months within the high job.

Ann Carlson, the chief counsel of NHTSA, will take over Cliff’s duties, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg instructed CNBC in an announcement.

Cliff, who turned head of NHTSA in early June, is leaving to helm the California Air Resources Board, a local weather company centered on lowering air air pollution within the state. CARB introduced on Friday that Cliff was appointed as its subsequent CEO, after Richard Corey, the prior CEO, retired on the finish of June.

During his tenure with NHTSA, Cliff labored on new gas financial system requirements, and new automobile security guidelines which might be supposed to enhance security for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. As extra superior applied sciences have been adopted by automakers, the company is more and more coping with considerations in regards to the security of electrical automobile batteries, and software program that is controlling automobiles.

Automotive security activists, together with Ralph Nader, have been calling on NHTSA to cease Tesla from testing unfinished driver help software program with strange clients on public U.S. roads due to how regularly it malfunctions.

Cliff led the company to challenge a “standing general order,” which mandates that automakers present NHTSA with information on deadly and different vital collisions that concerned their automobiles and superior driver help programs (ADAS), or extra technologically subtle automated driving programs.

ADAS choices accessible in client automobiles embrace Tesla’s Autopilot, Full Self-Driving and FSD Beta programs, Ford’s Blue Cruise and Cadillac’s TremendousCruise. None of them make automobiles secure to be used with out an attentive human behind the wheel. Automated driving programs are featured in robotaxis being developed by Waymo, Cruise and others.

Cliff was nominated in October by President Joe Biden to lead the NHTSA after serving as deputy administrator since February 2021.

Secretary Buttigieg thanked Cliff for his service on the company “and his work to protect the lives of the American people by strengthening the safety of motor vehicles and reducing their emissions.” 

NHTSA declined to share any additional particulars in regards to the circumstances of Cliff’s departure.

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