In the Driver(less) Seat?

Lawmakers and tech companies are gearing up for self-driving cars.

What once seemed like a futuristic dreamthe driverless automobilemay be coming to streets sooner than you think, according to a recent interview with Anthony Foxx, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Although fully autonomous cars may not be in every driveway, he thinks we’ll see them on the market within five years.

As we all know, all too often, technology moves faster than the law. So forward-thinking Foxx has been meeting with Silicon Valley leaders with the intent that the DOT shape policy now for the vehicles.

California issued rules in December that ban fully driverless cars, an unpopular stance with some tech companies, especially those with models already in development. However, the DOT’s yet-to-be-created federal legislation may eventually supersede states’ laws.

It’s understandable that there may be some tension between regulators and tech developers: Tech companies throwing their hats into the transportation ring (Google, for one) are accustomed to moving to market much more quickly than has been the norm in the highly regulated auto industry.

 

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