Will the Trump administration go “hands-off” on driverless cars?
U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx is confident that the new U.S. government will continue his regulation path.
The whole world is currently looking at the United States: just how will President-elect Donald Trump change the political course of the country? The driverless car industry is no exception, as Trump’s stance on autonomous driving remains unknown.
However, outgoing Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx is not concerned about whether or not his autonomous vehicle guidance will survive: “The framework it lays out, I believe, will stand up over time,” he said according to The Hill. Elsewhere, industry experts expect Trump’s new Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to be more liberal on regulation issues.
Anthony Foxx, known to be a staunch supporter of self-driving vehicles, released the highly anticipated regulatory framework in September. It aimed to streamline a patchwork of state regulations, and includes a voluntary 15-point safety assessment that is supposed to eventually evolve into formal law. While Apple criticized the framework, most industry players generally praised the guidelines for not hampering innovation. According to The Hill, Foxx said that the guidance should be updated annually to ensure it evolves with the emerging technology.
But with Elaine Chao taking over his seat in January, it could well be that the new administration goes “hands-off” on regulations. A former member of the George W. Bush cabinet, Chao is known for a deregulatory approach. “You can expect to see her take a very light touch. She has certainly in the past demonstrated a strong commitment to letting the markets function as they will," Thomas O. McGarity, Law Professor at the University of Texas, told The Hill.
For now, Foxx is continuing to work on his political legacy. Just this week, his Department of Transportation released a draft rule requiring all new cars and trucks to be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology. “This rule is something that has been contemplated for years,” Foxx said. “I can’t speak for next administration, but I can say from a safety perspective, this is a no-brainer.”