US Transportation Secretary says cars will be like living rooms | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

US Transportation Secretary says cars will be like living rooms

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The Trump administration wants to quickly make self-driving cars a reality, and quickly with America’s Transportation Secretary making a push for driverless vehicles at the Concordia Summit in New York City.

Newsweek quotes Elaine Chao (pictured, from file) as saying, “We’re being petitioned now by equipment manufacturers and tech companies to redesign the way cars look. The cars of the near future won’t have a wheelbase or driver side rear view window, they will look like living rooms.”

The report says that Chao explained that while the Department of Transportation is tasked with addressing “legitimate customer concerns of safety, security and privacy,” its ultimate task is to “make sure we’re not hampering this innovation.” It says her department will roll out new voluntary guidelines for autonomous vehicles in an effort to increase flexibility around limitations on new technologies and to encourage the quick rollout of driverless cars.

Newsweek adds that she commented the vast majority of car accidents occur due to human error and automated technology in the car can make driving safer while “giving back freedom to the disabled and enabling the elderly to lead a full life.”

Chao added that her department is partnering with private industry to implement other innovations like Hyperloop and high-speed rail. They’re also looking into “supersonic planes and flying cars.”

The key to these futuristic leaps in transportation and infrastructure, said Chao, is to allow the private sector to invest and innovate.

“The government doesn’t have all the solutions and we welcome responsible partners,” she is further quoted as saying. “Unfortunately, many of our states don’t allow the private sector to invest in infrastructure.… But they can be very helpful in terms of partnerships, not just tolled roads. The reality is that we cannot fund $1.5 trillion in direct federal funding, it will increase the deficit dramatically and will squeeze out the private sector.”


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