U.S. Lawmaker Makes ‘Huge’ Prediction After Meeting With Leading Driverless Tech CEO

Washington D.C. — Last week a U.S. lawmaker made a “huge” prediction about driverless vehicles one day after meeting with the CEO of a leading autonomous technology company.

During a hearing on Thursday in the House of Representatives entitled: “The Evolving Cybersecurity Landscape: Federal Perspectives on Securing the Nation’s Infrastructure,” Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) said he recently met with Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, which owns autonomous driving startup, Waymo.




 

Malinowski said he emerged from that meeting convinced the widespread deployment of driverless vehicles on America’s roadways is coming sooner than many believe.

“So, while there is no expert consensus on when there will be widespread adoption of Level 4, Level 5 autonomy, I think it is safe to say we are going to have a huge number of vehicles on the road, certainly by the 2030’s, that are heavily or even exclusively reliant on artificial intelligence to make decisions about accelerating, braking, turning… every road decision,” he predicted.

 

Explaining that he also recently participated in a “table top exercise that simulated a hostile power taking down our GPS,” the Congressman expressed concern the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) may be unprepared to properly implement and regulate the deployment of automated vehicles (AV) given the wide range of cyber threats AVs could be vulnerable to.

“Any product, device, or service that is connected to the internet or reliant on code is going to be vulnerable to compromise and the stakes are going to be incredibly high when we are talking about software-powered machines that are carrying people at 70 mph or more down the freeway,” Rep. Malinowski stated.




 

Despite these obvious and highly-consequential concerns, the USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continues moving full speed ahead on plans to accelerate the widespread deployment and adoption of self-driving trucks.


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Major trucking groups such as the American Trucking Associations are also working to speed deployment of AVs calling for regulators to “accelerate” the removal of “regulatory barriers.”

WATCH the entire hearing below.



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