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NHTSA head Cliff is leaving to run California Air Sources Board

Dr. Steven Scott Cliff, nominee to be administrator of the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, testifies throughout a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee affirmation listening to in Russell Constructing on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Name, Inc. | Getty Photographs

The Division of Transportation stated on Friday that Steven Cliff, the top of the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security 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 informed CNBC in an announcement.

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

Throughout his tenure with NHTSA, Cliff labored on new gasoline economic system requirements, and new automobile security guidelines which are supposed to extend 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 concerning the security of electrical automobile batteries, and software program that is controlling automobiles.

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

Cliff led the company to issue a “standing common order,” which mandates that automakers present NHTSA with knowledge on deadly and different important collisions that concerned their automobiles and superior driver help programs (ADAS), or extra technologically refined automated driving programs.

ADAS choices accessible in shopper automobiles embody Tesla’s Autopilot, Full Self-Driving and FSD Beta programs, Ford’s Blue Cruise and Cadillac’s SuperCruise. None of them make automobiles protected 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 guide the NHTSA after serving as deputy administrator since February 2021.

Secretary Buttigieg thanked Cliff for his service on the company “and his work to guard the lives of the American folks by strengthening the security of motor autos and decreasing their emissions.” 

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

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