President-elect Trump has established a strategic and policy forum. This high-level council will be a sounding board for the president on business issues and will hold its first meeting in February. Three key supporters of autonomous vehicles are part of the Strategic and Policy Forum—GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk. Barra has said connected and autonomous technology developments are the future of the automotive sectors. Uber is leading the way in deploying autonomous car technology in the U.S, while Tesla has been on the forefront of autonomous vehicle development.
In a related development, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has called upon President-elect Trump to ease regulations especially for fuel economy requirements and greenhouse gas rules, according to Automotive News.
The letter also asks for a hold on all federal proposals made since September 1 that relate to alternate fuel vehicles and autonomous vehicle development. The Department of Transportation issued guidelines this fall calling upon automakers to voluntarily assess and submit to DOT the design, development, testing and deployment plans for autonomous vehicles before they can be offered for sale or put into service on public roads. Automakers will be asked to provide documentation on 15 different topics, including cybersecurity measures.
The nominee for the Transportation Department, Elain Chao, formerly served in the George W. Bush’s administration as Labor Secretary. Many news sites have said she will probably have a light touch when it comes to regulation.