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Mike Allen discusses the government's role in innovtion with Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Axios' Mike Allen hosted a trio of conversations in D.C. on how 5G, the next phase in super-fast networks, will affect self-driving cars. He discussed the roles of government and tech in facilitating the adaption of these vehicles with:

  • T.H. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman, House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • T.H. Gary Peters (D-MI), Senator, Michigan
  • Dr. Chris Urmson, CEO, Aurora
We subbed our signature oatmeal bowl for a 5Grain bowl to celebrate the occasion. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Fueled by 5Grains, Mike takes the stage. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Rep. Walden on 5G advances: "Washington’s role is to get out of the way of the innovators.” (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)

Why it matters: Rep. Walden leads the House committee tasked with overseeing technology issues.

Rep. Walden "I’m not looking for a lot of regulation, I’m looking for responsibility. [...] If responsibility doesn’t flow, then regulation will." (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)

Why it matters: An Axios-SurveyMonkey poll out yesterday morning shows Americans are increasingly concerned government won't do enough to regulate tech.

David McCabe's thought bubble: While Walden was cautious in announcing any specific action, this is striking talk coming from a pro-industry Republican with close ties to House leadership.

Sen. Peters on military application of self-driving tech: “We lost more soldiers in logistics operations driving through dangerous terrain than in combat.” (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Sen. Peters: "The F35 fighter that we're building now will probably be the last aircraft fighter ever built that will have a human pilot"--implying autonomous airplanes are next. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Dr. Urmson, who's the CEO of autonomous car tech startup Aurora, tells Mike: "[Tech companies] at their core are doing what they think is right for society” and “doing their best to generate a better world. [...] They have massive reach,” and with that, “there is a social responsibility that comes along with that.” (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)
Thank you to the 130+ Washingtonians who joined us. (Chuck Kennedy for Axios)

Thank you to Qualcomm for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.

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