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Obama’s $4 billion plan for driverless cars nationwide

Driverless cars have hurdles to jump through with the federal and state governments. Although driverless cars are touted as being safer, they’re far from being roadworthy everywhere. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx proposed an ambitious plan to lay out the ground work for the next revolution.

President Obama is firmly behind the plan, pledging to interest $4 billion into the 2017 budget for a 10 year plan to accelerate and support driverless cars. Foxx didn’t explain what the plan entails, but the plan will cut out some bureaucratic red tape.


According to Secretary Foxx, in the statement:

driverlesscarsgoogle_feat-520x260We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people.

The start of a dialog for driverless cars will pave the road for the nationwide guidelines over operation, safety, accident reporting guidelines and who’s at fault when collisions occur. The state where a majority of driverless cars operate, California, has laws restricting cars from being completely self driving. The states requires a human behind the wheel and be able to take control at moments notice.

From the agency’s release:

DOT and NHTSA will develop the new tools necessary for this new era of vehicle safety and mobility, and will consider seeking new authorities when they are necessary to ensure that fully autonomous vehicles, including those designed without a human driver in mind, are deployable in large numbers when they are demonstrated to provide an equivalent or higher level of safety than is now available.

While some say self driving cars are the future, Nvidia claims the self driving car is a long way off. These autonomous have decisions of life or death everyday when someone runs in front of the car they’ll need to decide to hit the pedestrian or try to safely correct. The case is while cars can communicate to one another they won’t understand all the vibrates that could happen.

If the cars learn, becoming smart enough to predict possible outcomes there is still the public perception.  A lot of folks in the public don’t want to ride in a car that a computer is driving. They rather have control over the car. While accident rates are astronomically high for human drivers, the self driving car hasn’t had any chargeable accidents. Most of the fender benders are other bumping into the rear of the car.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about self driving cars and Obama’s pledge of $4 billion to help pave the road for this technology.