Code & Conduit Podcast: The Un-United States of Self-Driving Cars

How soon will you see more self-driving technologies being tried and tested on a road near you? It likely depends on what state you’re living in – and the auto and tech industries are concerned the answer to that question may get even more complex in the new Trump administration.

State and federal regulators have long shared the responsibility of overseeing the drivers on the road and the vehicles they’re driving, respectively. But with autonomous technology, the vehicles can drive themselves. That’s blurring the regulatory lines and leading to a patchwork of state regulations.  

Auto manufacturers and tech developers have to juggle varying regulations as they try to test and deploy new vehicles on interstate highways. Those companies tend to favor a light regulatory touch from the Department of Transportation as they experiment with new innovations, but they’re also concerned that too light a federal touch means states will continue to step in.

Now with a clampdown on federal regulation by the Trump administration, the industry is wondering how Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao will navigate this environment. Elliot Katz, co-chair at DLA Piper’s connected and self-driving car practice, spoke about this challenge with Bloomberg BNA tech reporter Michaela Ross for the latest edition of our Code and Conduit podcast.

You can read more of Michaela’s reporting on our tech, telecom and internet blog or on Bloomberg Law. If you liked what you heard in the podcast, sign up for a free trial of Bloomberg BNA’s legal and regulatory news and content.

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