December 1, 2014

Don't Slam the Brakes on Smart Cars With Too Much Regulation

Adam Thierer

Senior Research Fellow

Ryan Hagemann

Senior Director for Policy and Director of Technology Policy, Niskanen Center
Summary

The world is on course to change very rapidly in a short amount of time. From new business models changing how individuals interact with one another to the onset of deliveries-by-drone, technology is altering the way we live our daily lives — and some of the most significant changes have yet to arrive.

The world is on course to change very rapidly in a short amount of time. From new business models changing how individuals interact with one another to the onset of deliveries-by-drone, technology is altering the way we live our daily lives — and some of the most significant changes have yet to arrive. Among all the contributors to the emerging digital age, no force has been as substantial as the idea of “permissionless innovation.”

As the Washington Post has highlighted, the essence of permissionless innovation is the idea that, in the absence of proof that a particular technology or idea will cause real, immediate and clear harm to society, “innovation should be allowed to flourish” unimpeded by preemptive regulations. The hurdles that innovators and entrepreneurs face in bringing new technologies to market should not include precautionary regulations that stifle technological development, especially as it relates to autonomous vehicles.

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