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Congress Could Make Self-Driving Cars Happen—or Ruin Everything

450 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jermin8r89
Congress Could Make Self-Driving Cars Happen-or Ruin Everything

Alex Davies | 02.15.17 5:30 am


Congress just stepped into the robocar game. In the past two days, a pair of senators started drafting legislation to advance autonomous vehicles, and the House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection held a two-hour hearing exploring how on the tech might be deployed. For your elected officials, it's a considerable, if tentative, step into the future of transportation.

Of course, they're just a bit late. Small numbers of robocars already roam the San Francisco Bay Area and other cities, and you'll probably start riding in them within a few years as Uber and others commercialize the technology. Everything is racing ahead of a regulatory structure ill-equipped to usher in this change.

The nation's patchwork of laws regulating this technology say nothing about how it is tested (or even defined), how cars using it will operate, or even who should settle these questions. Congress can address these all of these questions and ensure this technology succeeds.

Or they can screw it all up.
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Many will try to "screw it up", but they will ultimately fail. Autonomous vehicles have the backing of Uber and others that are in turn backed by an assortment of very wealthy people, collectively worth hundreds of billions of dollars. They are pros at buying the best lobbyists that have been successfully "guiding" Congress for decades. Both Congress and state legislatures across the USA will be guided to advance Autonomous vehicles, despite public fears of the new technology along with the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs of both rideshare and taxi drivers.
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