Elaine Chao’s hands-off approach to transportation is endangering lives

At South by Southwest Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced a new regulatory body to speed the adoption of new transportation technologies including “tunneling, hyperloop, autonomous vehicles, and other innovations.”

The creation of what’s being called the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) council excited SXSW participants in attendance—namely, Virgin Hyperloop One, which eagerly dispatched a press release applauding Chao’s decision to launch the group, scheduled to start meeting as soon as this week.

In a week where the transportation department is facing some of its most pointed criticism in recent memory, Chao has now created a separate council to speed the commercial adoption of untested technologies like driverless vehicles and hyperloops—without addressing the dramatic, necessary changes that industries from automakers to airlines need today.