Chao to Silicon Valley: Prove the benefits of self-driving cars

Steve Fecht / General Motors

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is reviewing the Obama administration's guidance for self-driving vehicles and plans to "update it and amend it, to ensure that it strikes the right balance."

QuoteI want to challenge Silicon Valley, Detroit, and all other auto industry hubs to step up and help educate a skeptical public about the benefits of automated technology. — Elaine Chao

Chao was speaking to the National Governors Association yesterday, as reported by Reuters. In September, the Obama administration called on automakers to voluntarily submit a 15-point safety assessment on self-driving systems.

Why it matters: Her remarks signal general support for self-driving cars, particularly in their ability to improve safety as 94% of traffic crashes are due to human error.

Still, hurdles remain: She's concerned about the impact of self-driving cars on employment, starting with the 3.5 million truck drivers whose jobs are likely to change as the technology takes hold.