Given the rhetoric about the non-existent “epidemic of gun violence,” perhaps the Obama Administration feels compelled to show concern for highway deaths since they far exceed gun deaths. But they want to spend a lot of money!
USA Today reports,
The Obama administration on Thursday proposed a 10-year, $4 billion push to spark the development of self-driving cars, hoping to one day eliminate roadway deaths.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulators said they would seek unified national regulations on self-driving cars.
Regulators are also encouraging automakers to run trials. NHTSA said it will consider granting exemptions from regulations to automakers for up to 2,500 self-driving vehicles for on-road, real-world testing.
The agency also plans to work with state governments and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators within six months to develop cohesive state regulations for autonomous vehicles.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the president’s 2017 budget proposal includes $4 billion over 10 years for pilot projects, including a program to test self-driving cars by investing in technologically connected roads. He provided few other details on how the money would be spent if it comes to fruition.
He provided few other details? You mean the government wants to spend a lot of money to fulfill extravagant promises with only a vague idea of what the money will do? I’m shocked.
And why are they exempting these experimental cars from regulations? I thought all regulations were important to our safety.
The article tells us that, for Foxx and others, the goal is to eliminate all traffic fatalities in the future. So what we can deduce, though the article never seems interested in this obvious implication, is that the goal is to make automated driving mandatory. In other words, they are hoping to make it illegal to drive.
To my mind, given Obama’s values, this makes sense of the extravagant spending. Outlawing driving is not a means to the goal of ending deaths from car accidents. Eliminating car accidents provides justification for criminalizing driving. That is the goal.
They probably think this will mean the public will finally start using public transportation. I think they are right. If driving is banned then purchasing a car will not be nearly as attractive to consumers. Plus, these cars will certainly be more expensive.
Anyone who has had any real experience with a personal computer knows that it is highly unlikely that these automated cars are never going to be involved in accidents.
Despite the pleasant vision of a world without highway deaths, I don’t think there’s much consumer demand for a world where driving is no longer permitted. The auto industry may want to be able to offer consumers automated vehicles as on option, but eliminating the rest of the market for normal cars didn’t come from private business.
This is a government job. The $4 billion helps the regime strengthen the influence they gained over the auto industry when they bailed them out. It isn’t about safety; it is about control.