Regulators Slamming the Brakes on ‘Permissionless Innovation’

The Heartland Institute cites Marc Scribner's research on the regulatory landscape surrounding automated-vehicles.

Marc Scribner, a research fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says Google’s experiences with California regulators drove it to test its self-driving car technology in Texas.

“Google asked the California Highway Patrol if what they did was legal, and the CHP came back and said there is nothing on the books that prohibits this,” Scribner said. “So, fast-forward a couple of years, after they enact this statute. The operation they did in 2010 with the legally blind man would be outlawed today. That is why you now see Google be very critical of similar state efforts.”

Scribner says state governments are shaping the future landscape of automated-vehicle regulations, making federal regulators obsolete.

“The states are looking at automated vehicle technologies as the future, but at the federal government, and [among] some of the traditional automakers, you have this 1990s mindset,” Scribner said. “We have an environment where these old motor vehicle codes never contemplated the notion that you would have a vehicle operate without a driver.”