The Drive – To hear transportation secretary Elaine Chao tell it, all that's stands between consumers and a fully functional autonomous vehicle ecosystem are a few pesky regulations. Addressing a group of reporters at the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, she laid out three initiatives the US department of transportation had undertaken to spur development of driverless cars.
"Autonomous vehicles hold the promise not only of improved safety, but also improved mobility," she said, highlighting unlicensed teens, the elderly, and Americans living in rural areas as the most likely beneficiaries of the new technology. "The department of transportation has a vital role to play in shaping this technology."
Chao called the first of the three DOT initiatives she discussed in Detroit "AV 3.0." It consists of updated guidelines for autonomous cars, light trucks, and commercial carriers. The second initiative is a series of official requests to the transportation industry to identify regulations that hinder innovation (the initial request was published Jan. 10). The third: the DOT Safety Data Initiative, an effort by the department to integrate safety information to make it more accessible to technology developers and regulators.
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