Obama Is Pretty Psyched About Driverless Cars

He just wants safety to be a priority as innovation continues

President Obama addresses the House Democratic Caucus

President Obama addresses the House Democratic Caucus

A photo from June 2015 shows President Obama addressing the House Democratic Caucus on a trade pact.Official White House Photo by Pete Souza/Flickr

President Obama's weigh-in on autonomous cars is a big deal, especially since his op-ed for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is so overall enthusiastic about the innovative technology.

Though the op-ed came as a delivery system for new regulations for the auto industry's growing emphasis on driverless vehicle technology, he cautioned that the rules are meant to stoke the flames, not smother them. "Regulation can go too far," he wrote. "Government sometimes gets it wrong when it comes to rapidly changing technologies. That’s why this new policy is flexible and designed to evolve with new advances."

The new rules are diverse, but the major point on the list is a focus on making sure that 50 different states do not set 50 sets of conflicting regulations for how self-driving cars can perform.

Of course this is all in the name of safety:

Safer, more accessible driving. Less congested, less polluted roads. That’s what harnessing technology for good can look like. But we have to get it right. Americans deserve to know they’ll be safe today even as we develop and deploy the technologies of tomorrow.

- President Obama

You can read the Department of Transportation's new full guidelines for autonomous cars here.

[H/T Gizmodo]