White House wants to jump-start self-driving cars


Obama wants to give self-driving cars a boost.
Obama wants to give self-driving cars a boost.
Photo: Google

Pretty much every company in Silicon Valley is working on a self-driving car project, and if the Obama administration has its way, they may hit the road sooner than expected.

While Apple and Google are busy developing their visions for our future Autopia, the Obama administration plans to announce its effort to boost the development of self-driving cars on Thursday.

The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mark Rosekind, told Reuters that US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx will be making an appearance at the Detroit Auto show tomorrow. Foxx is expected to talk about Obama’s efforts to speed up introduction of self-driving cars.

Prototype autonomous cars from Google and other company have already reached the testing phase of driving on public roads, yet the U.S. still hasn’t created a legal framework governing their presence. Automakers are faced with a patchwork of state regulations, like California’s new law that requires a human driver be present in the vehicles at all times.

Google said it will be take in Thursday’s announcement with Foxx. It’s likely we’ll see a number of other top automakers on the stage as Foxx lays out the ‘nimble, flexible’ approach to writing new rules for self-driving cars that the administration has said it favors.