Washington Impedes Progress on Self-Driving Cars

Imagine how different the discussion about returning to the office or school would be if we could deploy autonomous vehicles — and therefore had more alternatives to public transportation or school buses without worrying about parking — or how much more secure our supply chains would be with broader use of autonomous trucks — which don’t expose drivers to health risks. Autonomous vehicles aren’t available to help people stay safe during the Covid-19 crisis, but they may be a key tool in future pandemics.

The biggest impediment to the use of these vehicles will not be technology, Clifford Winston and Quentin Karpilow argue in their new book, “Autonomous Vehicles.” Instead the problem is that the federal government’s failure to address the myriad policy questions involved means we continue to have disparate state rules — and an enormous missed opportunity.