Self-Driving Commentary: Smarter Cars Podcast

This post belongs to a series I’m calling Self-Driving Commentary, in which I spout and ramble on whatever is rattling around in my head pertaining to self-driving cars. Enjoy!

Smarter Cars logo

There’s a new podcast on the block (and no - it’s not mine, though I wish I could say it were!): Smarter Cars

The first episode launched March 31, and it was nothing short of fantastic (second maybe only to Being Boss - of course I’m biased since Smarter Cars doesn’t help pay my bills… yet?).

My podcasts

See, honey? Number two on my list, NOT number one. ;D

Anyway, on the first episode host Michele Kyrouz talks to Senior Research Fellow with the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Adam Thierer about “the role of government in regulating autonomous vehicles.” Adam advocates for “Permissionless Innovation” (that’s the title of his book) and a sort of “soft regulation” whereby governments meet with innovators to impart a wish list of behavioral guidelines, rather than impose preemptive regulations, as to not stifle innovation.

Permissionless Innovation cover

Of course I get where he’s coming from - it’s this approach to regulation that, as they discuss in the podcast, put the United States first in online innovation (see: Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc.) - and you’d think that I’d be a little less friendly to regulation, at least on this particular issue because I want to make a career out of the technology. Maybe it’s my years of working for the federal government (“We’re not so bad!”), but I don’t view regulation so unfavorably, or at least not in such laissez faire terms as Mr. Theirer. The Internet is one thing, but vehicles with the persistent potential to cause physical damage and take physical lives are another thing entirely.

That said, he also makes an excellent point that when you consider that human-driven vehicles are out there killing (I believe he said) ninety-five people a day in the United States, the moral imperative might be to remove human drivers from behind the wheel as quickly as possible… as long as the algorithm can improve upon that statistic. So let’s get out there and innovate already!

Ok, I’ll shut my yap and let you mosey on over to libsyn to listen to this amazing new podcast!