The latest issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, US president Barack Obama praised the tech industry for all of the autonomous driving advancements it has managed to achieve in recent years and revealed that he is personally fond of the idea of the future in which cars are driving people instead of the other way around. Obama explained that driverless technology has the potential to not only make transportation safer but also more accessible to the average person as it's expected that people won't need a license to use self-driving cars in the future and such vehicles will also be cheaper to rent than what owning and maintaining a car would cost. Coincidentally, this sounds really similar to what Lyft's president said yesterday when predicting the end of personal car ownership.
Furthermore, the US president also expressed his bafflement with the current state of the industry by writing that in his two tenures heading the United States, "self-driving cars have gone from sci-fi fantasy to an emerging reality with the potential to transform the way we live." Regardless of being excited by the prospect of self-driving vehicles, Obama called for caution and stated that the government will have to play the crucial role in bringing autonomous cars to the market by finding a way to ensure people's safety without imposing a huge amount of regulations on the industry. He acknowledged that this is currently a really tricky legal area and admitted that government isn't always right when it comes to regulating "rapidly changing technologies" such as this one.
Coincidentally, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) will release a new set of regulatory guidelines for the autonomous driving industry later today. According to unofficial reports, these guidelines will be published in the form of a safety checklist which will consist of 15 points. Like their name suggests, these guidelines are just recommendations for automakers but they are expected to define the authority state and federal governments have in the process of regulating the industry. It's expected that most – if not all – manufacturers will adhere to the said guidelines put forth by the government.