FEW TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS bring to mind the American spirit of innovation like Henry Ford and his Model T. In the wake of his transportation innovation, the horse and buggy became an anachronism as the mass-produced automobile reshaped our cities, led to the emergence (for better or worse) of the suburbs, and revolutionized how we move goods and people.
Now, there's little doubt that autonomous vehicles are the next frontier of transportation. These vehicles are projected to make our roads safer, potentially reducing fatalities by orders of magnitude. Along the way, however, there are a number of roadblocks to surmount: infrastructure issues, restrictive state licensing policies, driver education, cybersecurity and privacy vulnerabilities, and more. For innovators, regulators, and policymakers, solving these problems will involve a long to-do list, but a pointless regulatory scuffle over technology standards should not be on it.