$100 Million of Your Tax Dollars

Computer controlled driverless taxis proposed for Cardiff city centre and docklands. Vehicles known as ULTra developed by Advanced Transport Systems. Picture taken from www.atsltd.co.uk website
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On Friday, the swamp drainer signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill which includes $100 million to further the development of automated cars.

No one asked why the government is involved in this business.

If automated cars are such a grand idea, then why not let the market pay for them – rather than taxpayers? No one asked that question, either.

The Department of Transportation has designated 10 proving ground pilot sites to “encourage testing, validation and information sharing related to self-driving technologies.”

Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, have led the push to fund the proving grounds, one of which is the American Center for Mobility located at the former Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township, Mich.

The legislation directs the secretary of transportation to develop an autonomous vehicle research plan within six months.

The AV START Act, which would set ground rules for development and operation of self-driving cars on public roads, is stalled in the Senate because of safety objections by a handful of lawmakers.


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  1. Because some other country is doing it, that’s why. The old “If everyone else jumped off a bridge would you?” saying loses all relevance once you leave your parent’s house.

    Who cares that other countries’ programs are way behind the US in this technology, even the fact that some other country (China, for example) has an Uncle financed test program it means we need to goose up the system too. The problem is that $100 million really isn’t going to help much because it isn’t about money it’s about brainpower. And most of that money will go into administration of the program, hiring grant writers and lawyers, and bringing in people who might not be the most qualified but fit some other criteria to make Uncle happy.



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