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Obama Administration To Announce Self-Driving Car Initiative

Move will speed development of driverless cars.

[Photo: Flickr user NCDOTcommunications]

A new proposal to be unveiled by Obama administration officials on Thursday will speed the development of self-driving cars, according to Reuters. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be in Detroit on Thursday to discuss the administration’s initiative to get autonomous vehicles on the road faster in part by laying down a legal framework and guidelines that governs their use.

Any guidelines would come as welcome news to autonomous vehicle manufacturers like Google, Tesla, and Nissan. Many are hoping to have self-driving cars on the roadways by 2020, but are concerned about the currently vague legal implications and potential liabilities.

In a recent interview with Re/code, Foxx confirmed his desire for a clear set of policies regulating self-driving cars before President Obama leaves office in just under a year. "On these types of questions, we as an agency should produce guidance on how we are going to approach this technology—and how we want the industry to approach it. And that guidance is being worked on as we speak. I expect in the next days and weeks I'll be able to make some announcement about that," he said.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the company will be attending Foxx’s event. Other Detroit automakers are also expected to attend.