President Barack Obama‘s administration has announced a proposal of spending nearly $4 billion over the next 10 years to make autonomous cars safer.
The United States Department of Transportation will make it easier for companies to innovate around these vehicles, according to Venture Beat.
Obama’s 2017 fiscal year budget will provide enough money to allow for pilot programs to test connected vehicles in “designated corridors” throughout the country and establish a framework for the connected and autonomous vehicles.
According to reports, “As part of the administration’s plans are milestones that state within six months, the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) will collaborate with those in the industry on standards to safely deploy and operate autonomous vehicles. The government agency has also been tasked to work with state partners, motor vehicle departments, and other stakeholders on a national policy to regulate the cars. In addition, the government will provide safety exemptions for up to 2,500 vehicles for up to two years if the NHTSA determines that by doing so, it will ‘ease development of new safety features.’”
“We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. “Today’s actions and those we will pursue in the coming months will provide the foundation and the path forward for manufacturers, state officials, and consumers to use new technologies and achieve their full safety potential.”
This announcement comes after many car companies expressing their interest in autonomous cars, including Tesla and tech companies, including Google and Uber.