Does Congress Really Think That Self-Driving Cars Will Spur Job Growth?

For some reason, this is what I got when I typed "self driving car" into our photo service. As you can see, it is neither self driving nor a car. However, there really is a bear in the sidecar, so I decided to use it anyway.Visual via ZUMA

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Kevin Roose reports on efforts in Washington to regulate self-driving cars:

It’s rare to find an issue with true bipartisan consensus in Washington. But self-driving cars have been praised by members of both parties, who see the technology as a way to spur job creation while preventing many of the roughly 40,000 motor vehicle deaths that occur on American roads each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of traffic deaths involve human error, including distracted driving and driving while intoxicated.

The safety part I get. When they finally come, self-driving cars will almost certainly be safer than the 2-ton death machines that are currently piloted around our city streets by the texting/eating/singing/talking/shaving meat sacks that we laughingly refer to as sentient.

But job creation? How are self-driving cars going to spur job creation? Are we talking about the few thousand programmers and engineers who invent this stuff? Or what? Because when this technology becomes real, millions are going to lose their jobs as bus drivers, truck drivers, taxi drivers, and shuttle drivers.

What am I missing here?

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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