What Clinton and Trump have to say about self-driving cars

Not much. But more than Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty.

Uber's fleet of autonomous Ford Fusions from 2016

Uber's fleet of autonomous Ford Fusions from 2016

Jared Wickerham/ For The Incline
MJ Slaby

There are wide ranging ramifications that come with advances in technology, President Barack Obama told the audience gathered for the White House Frontiers Conference at Carnegie Mellon University earlier this month.

And one example is autonomous cars, POTUS said.

“So if self-driving cars are pervasive, a huge percentage of the American population makes its living, and oftentimes a pretty good living, driving,” he said. “And so, understandably, people are going to be concerned about what does this mean.”

More locally, Mayor Bill Peduto has strongly supported Uber as the company rolled out its first fleet of self-driving cars that are available to the public, while neither the office of Katie McGinty nor Pat Toomey responded to The Incline’s request for details on their U.S. senatorial candidate’s stance.

So what do the presidential hopefuls have to say about self-driving cars and the future of the technology? Turns out, not a lot.

Hillary Clinton

The Democratic candidate’s technology platform vows to “position American innovators to lead the world in the next generation of technology revolutions,” which includes autonomous vehicles, per her campaign.

Back in June, Clinton told LinkedIn that the impact of autonomous cars on the economy and jobs won’t be as fast as some projections, but will still happen. She also said at the time:

“Driverless cars may be an exciting new step in transportation, but that means a lot of trucks and cabbies and Uber drivers and a lot of other people may well lose jobs. So how do we think about that?”

Donald Trump

Republican Trump has repeatedly talked about bringing jobs back — and in Pennsylvania, that means steel and coal — but has said less about self-driving cars.

In September, Bloomberg Politics reported that Trump was suspicious of the technology, said it’s “sort of a weird thing to look over and there’s nobody in the car.” (Currently all of Pittsburgh’s self-driving Ubers have a safety driver and an engineer in the front seats.)