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In an op-ed for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, President Obama not only advocates for the self-driving car, but muses on the technological advancements of the past seven-and-a-half years. ā€œThings are a little different today than when I first moved into the White House,ā€ the president writes. ā€œBack then, my watch told me the time. Today, it reminds me to exercise. In my first year, I couldnā€™t take pictures with my phone. Last year, I posted on Instagram from Alaska.ā€

Times really are aā€™changing. And luckily for the innovators in Silicon Valley, the president welcomes new technology. Obama writes,

Right now, too many people die on our roads ā€“ 35,200 last year alone ā€“ with 94 percent of those the result of human error or choice. Automated vehicles have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year.

But thereā€™s a twist: government regulation. Obama likes that probably because heā€™s the president, which means he works for the government. Or maybe the government works for him? Makes you think.

Obama frames the government regulation as a way ā€œto help the private sector get this technology right from the start.ā€ According to Jalopnik, on Tuesday the federal government will release guidelines for self-driving cars, as well as a 15-point ā€œsafety assessmentā€ that will decide whether the autonomous vehicle is safe for the public.

Ultimately, Obama concludes, ā€œtechnology isnā€™t just about the latest gadget or app ā€“ itā€™s about making peopleā€™s lives better.ā€


Just donā€™t let this happen to you.

[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via The Verge]