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Self Driving Cars Earn Government Attention

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In an effort to get ahead of the game/tech when it comes to self driving Cars or autonomous vehicles, the federal government is promising to introduce “best practices” within six months time.

Self Driving Cars  surely need regulation like everything else.

The Republican humorist P.J. O’Roarke once quipped in his book “Republican Party Reptile“:

But I like to get drunk and drive like a fool. Name me, if you can, a better feeling than the one you get when you’re half a bottle of Chivas in the bag with a gram of coke up your nose and a teenage lovely pulling off her tube top in the next seat over while you’re going a hundred miles an hour down a suburban side street. You’d have to watch the entire Mexican air force crash-land in a liquid petroleum gas storage facility to match this kind of thrill. If you ever have much more fun than that, you’ll die of pure sensory overload, I’m here to tell you.”

Now, P.J as much as that does, indeed, sound like fun, we need some rules man.

Whether it’s emission standards, fuel-efficiency, alcohol levels, or maximum interstate speeds the federal government has a big say in how we drive a car. I’m not sure that there are federal guidelines for texting while driving but it seems that cities and states have done well taking that one on themselves.

Driving a car is just not a lot of fun anymore, so self-driving cars might be the answer. What’s that you say, the government is getting into a regulatory mood there as well?

Self Driving Cars concern transportation secretary

Presently, California and Nevada have their own guidelines on self-driving cars. But now the federal government seems to be feeling left out. Consequently, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said today that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will put together a model policy in the next six months that could form the backbone of the first national policy on self-driving cars.

Despite, President Obama leaving office in just a bit over a year, his budget has earmarked $4 billion over the next ten yeas to test autonomous vehicles in order to move them safely and comprehensively to the road in the future.

Lots of makes and models are parking themselves these days while more and more are “communicating with traffic lights and other cars. Tesla Motors has gone so far as to include an “auto pilot” feature in its newer models that has found people comfortably reading “War and Peace” from the backseat of a moving car in addition to other abuses that have shown up on YouTube.

Self-driving cars could someday make the roads safer but the federal government needs to regulate this until that day comes. Or that’s certainly what Mr. Foxx believes. I’ve seen Elon Musk’s SpaceX vertically land a first stage booster after launching a payload of communications satellites. But the more I think about it Mr. Foxx, I’ve also seen a couple explode attempting to land on a droneship so you may have a point.

Mr. Foxx wants to move quickly, perhaps owing to how the FAA didn’t when it came to drone guidelines. While the federal government isn’t necessarily known for haste, tech companies are.

“I don’t want to be stuck in a place where a given technology is put through our paces in a 3- or 4-year window, because you can be two or three generations into that technology in terms of its capability by the time the first generation enters the marketplace,” he said. “We have to get faster, and we’re working through what that looks like.”

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Brendan Byrne

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