Removing Roadblocks to Intelligent Vehicles and Driverless Cars

53 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2014 Last revised: 6 Jun 2018

See all articles by Adam D. Thierer

Adam D. Thierer

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Ryan Hagemann

Niskanen Center

Date Written: September 16, 2014


This paper addresses some of the early policy concerns about "connected cars" and driverless vehicles and promotes "bottom-up" solutions to ensure that innovation continues to flourish in this space. The authors argue that the generally unabated advancement of intelligent-vehicle technology will produce significant economic and social benefits. Various technical and policy barriers to more widespread adoption remain, however, and misguided regulation could delay or curtail the adoption of this important technology. This paper outlines ways of overcoming those hurdles. The authors also argue that policymakers should keep in mind that individuals have gradually adapted to similar disruptions in the past and, therefore, patience and humility are needed when considering policy for intelligent-vehicle systems.

Keywords: cars, vehicles, transportation, smart, intelligent, driverless, autonomous, automation, NHTSA, regulation, innovation, safety, privacy, insurance, liability, infrastructure, technology, robotic, algorithm

JEL Classification: L09, R00, R40, R41, R48, R58, H4, K23, L05, N07, O01, O03

Suggested Citation

Thierer, Adam D. and Hagemann, Ryan, Removing Roadblocks to Intelligent Vehicles and Driverless Cars (September 16, 2014). Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy (2015), Vol. 5, Mercatus Research Paper, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Arlington, VA, Available at SSRN: or

Adam D. Thierer (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201-4433
United States

Ryan Hagemann

Niskanen Center ( email )

820 First Street, NE, Suite 675
Washington, DC 20002
United States

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