US President Barack Obama commits $4bn over 10 years to driverless technology

Chris Papadopoullos
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Transportation Sec'y Foxx Discusses Future Transportation Trends With Google CEO
Transport Secretary Foxx (right) discussing driverless tech with Google chairman Eric Schmidt (left) (Source: Getty)

US President Barack Obama is committing $4bn (£2.8bn) over 10 years to investment in driverless car technology.

The goal of the investment is to "accelerate the development and adoption of safe vehicle automation through real-world pilot projects".

Transport Sectretary Anthony Foxx announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit yesterday that the US Department of Transportation will remove some of the roadblocks to the integration of driverless technology.

“We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people,” said Secretary Foxx.

“Today’s actions and those we will pursue in the coming months will provide the foundation and the path forward for manufacturers, state officials, and consumers to use new technologies and achieve their full safety potential.”

Obama's proposal would provide cash for pilot programmes to test driverless tech in "designated corridors" throughout the country, and work with industry leaders to ensure a common multi-state framework for connected and autonomous vehicles.

Foxx also unveiled updated policy guidance that "reflects the reality that the widespread deployment of fully autonomous vehicles is now feasible."

Mark Rosekind, administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said: “NHTSA is using all of its available tools to accelerate the deployment of technologies that can eliminate 94 per cent of fatal crashes involving human error.

“We will work with state partners toward creating a consistent national policy on these innovations, provide options now and into the future for manufacturers seeking to deploy autonomous vehicles, and keep our safety mission paramount at every stage.”