The self driving movement has been taking some pretty big hits lately and now it looks like the industry as a whole will be looking a new wave of people who will be slamming on the breaks for the whole self driving car segment.
Those who could not line up fast enough to support the movement are now scrambling to make sure that they’ve covered themselves off in light of the recent events in California and Phoenix, where a pedestrian lost her life when struck by a self driving Uber vehicle and a horrific car accident on a California Highway where the driver of a Tesla was killed. Many of the legislators are now looking for greater accountability and transparency from both tech and automotive companies and it looks now like battle lines are being drawn up as there may be a reluctance to share that information with public bodies.
Prior to the recent spat of unfortunate incidents, most governing bodies operated with a very hands off approach to the whole autonomous driving regulatory side of things and states like Michigan, California and Arizona acted more on consultatory basis when dealing with this versus a strong hand. But that all about to change and not in the favor of the tech and auto giants. The scary thing about these governing bodies is that they are just now realizing how little they actually know about tech and how big this will be if its not done properly as people, and elected officials, scramble to make sure that they aren’t on the wrong side of this debate when stuff hits the fan.
Most lawmakers are having a heck of a time with all of this as they try to balance the safety concerns from many groups against the opportunity they see as being leaders in the self driving sector – read, job creation and incremental tax revenue for local and state governments. This will not be a short conversation and it will get heated and may force the Federal government to intercede and look to provide some ground rules for all to follow, which will only open up a whole new set of debates.