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Published on April 24th, 2018 | by Nicolas Zart

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The Self-Driving Industry Forces Government Interventions By Not Regulating Itself

April 24th, 2018 by  


For all the talk of free markets and self-regulation, we are forced to observe that little to no market has proven to self-regulate itself well. Despite its rhetoric, autonomous vehicle (AV) companies proclaim working towards industry standards while acting otherwise behind the scenes.

Uber self driving car

The Far, Far West Of The Self-Driving Industry

Every new industry starts in a state of relative chaos. This wild far west is akin to the pioneers working their way towards California. A hodgepodge of various motivations and ideals drive a few people to invest in an uncertain future.

After a few publicly revealed accidents, the AV scenery is slowly changing, pondering its future and how to negotiate its early start in perhaps different ways than just a few years ago.

No matter how we look at AVs, self-driving cars won’t likely be sold to consumers in currently normal ways — at least, not generally. They will be part of fleets, municipal and private, and will harbor our city streets as TaaS (Transportation as a Service). But this also raises the question, how will they evolve and who will finance those services? Let’s pray we don’t end up in another wild frontier of advertising wonderland.

Self-Driving Industry Regulations

In a recent article, ArsTechnica basically said that upon closer examination of the Waymo, Cruise, and Uber AV efforts, none of them are planning to sell those self-driving cars to the public, but instead to fleet owners. Those AVs are designed as driverless taxis. The article concludes that, basically, riders will buy the AV one ride at a time, in a matter of speech.

The fatal self-driving car accident in Tempe, Arizona shows yet again something we’ve been saying for a long time, at some point car regulations will have to be forced. The federal government’s involvement means that self-driving cars will be safe from the moment they are assembled. Last month’s fatal crash only highlights the safety complexities of a driverless taxi service are much more than the simple physical features of the cars themselves.

“Keep Your Eyes On The Road, Your Hands Up On The Wheel!”

Jim Morrison of The Doors said it well 50 years ago and it is still true today — perhaps even more, sadly so. Add to this a desperately pathetic political landscape with the current administration’s dangerous minimal-regulation philosophy. And no matter how you look at it, neither Democrats nor Republicans can address the self-driving car safety issues.

Self-Driving Industry Regulations 
 





 

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About the Author

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. His communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"



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