06.09.15

National Journal: Driverless Cars Are Coming. Is Congress Ready?

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan has seen the future, and it is a driverless Uber.

Auto companies are quickly working on equipping cars with software that can connect to each other and to the roads around them, paving the way for, say, traffic lights to respond to traffic in real time. Eventually cars could be fully automated, paving the way for hands-free trips and—yes—car services that pick you up and drop you off without a human at the wheel.

"I'm a guy who likes to drive and be in control, so it takes some getting used to," said Peters, a Democrat. "But you can envision some incredible things."

The vision of robotic Ubers zipping you from door to door may be just a glimpse of the future, but it's one that Congress has to deal with now. As members work on a long-term transportation bill, they say they're increasingly thinking about the future and how to make sure states are incorporating new technology—and federal agencies are prepared to regulate it.


By:  Jason Plautz