We Could Be The Last Car-Owning Generation, Says Transportation Secretary Foxx

Discussing the future of automobiles at the 2016 Frontiers Conference

The White House’s first-ever Frontiers Conference is underway in Pittsburgh, gathering ideas across science, technology, and robotics. Which now also includes transportation. The Urban Transportation Future panel discussed issues related to driverless cars and an autonomous future.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, mayor of Pittsburgh William Peduto, Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase, and Zoox CEO Tim Kentley-Klay all gathered to discuss what’s to come in the self-driving car space.

“[My wish] is that people can imagine not owning cars,” said Chase, stressing the idea of driverless vehicles not just replacing personal cars but offering an alternative to ownership altogether. Chase continued, asking the audience to imagine, “a completely shared transportation system where they don’t spend 18 percent of their household income on their car. Once we have people imagining it, then we’ll push to make it happen.”

Following Chase, Secretary Foxx discussed iteration. “We started regulating cars decades after they were on the streets. [And] airplanes decades after they were in the air. We’ve regulated mature industries for quite some time, but this is a nascent industry.”

Foxx continued: “I hope we can keep the conversation fresh and the guidelines in them, [offering] annual reviews so that we’re constantly rethinking what we’re doing.” The secretary went on to point out that the current generation could be the last to actually drive a car.

“I wish that I don’t have to get my daughter a car. I can already tell it’ll be far better for everyone.”

The Frontiers Conference is happening all day today, October 13. Tune into the entire morning of panels here.