More Regulatory…Foolishness

Gordon Crovitz identified some.

The Obama administration’s standard reaction to technological innovation has been to block change via regulation….

Federal regulators are also putting the brakes on self-driving cars, which are closely related to the Uber innovation—enabling riders to order a car service using their smartphone app. If fast-moving technology hadn’t collided with slow-moving regulators, this might have been the last summer you’d have to drive your own car.


US regulators won’t let car manufacturers go much beyond what Mercedes now offers [active cruise control, automatic braking and lane-keeping technologies]. That means car makers can’t roll out technologies they already have, and auto makers in Europe, which has fewer regulations limiting technology, have surpassed their US competitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has warned states not to allow fully self-driving cars, like the one Google is developing, except for testing purposes. The agency says it’s working on a study that will take at least until 2017. Regulators say they’ll release performance metrics for self-driving features, then run the tests, then issue regulations, and only then permit sales. Meanwhile, the agency has delayed a plan by Tesla to replace traditional side mirrors with more effective cameras.

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether or not this technology works as well as advertised. Existing liability law will deal with failures. This is Big Government regulating for no other reason than that it can. This produces the opposite of what government is required to do; one aspect of this requirement being clearly laid out in Art I, Sect 8, of our Constitution: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts….

Because, Big Government. Now shut up, and quit arguing.

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