Why President Trump might be a boon for autonomous vehicles

By The Economist online

DONALD TRUMP’S election has generated much uncertainty about the future of travel to America, but one group of travellers might have reason to celebrate: those who hope to ride in driverless cars.

The Obama administration hasn’t exactly cracked down on this emerging technology. The 15-point guidelines released in September by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which cover everything from data protection to allowing a sober person to take control of the vehicle in the event of a malfunction, are voluntary for now, although the agency does plan to formalise them soon. But under Mr Trump, regulation of autonomous vehicles could be far more laissez-faire—or even actively supportive.

The first clues come from his early appointments. Most notable is Elaine Chao, the former secretary of labour under George W Bush (and wife of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell) whom Mr Trump has tapped to become secretary of transportation. Ms Chao…

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Category: Business and finance, Gulliver

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