- Four sources told Axios that Donald Trump has a deep mistrust of driverless cars.
- Trump sometimes enacts scenes in which the cars career out of control.
- One source said Trump could be spurred into action to make the regulatory landscape much tougher for autonomous vehicles.
Donald Trump is not a fan of driverless cars, according to a new report from Axios.
Four sources told Axios that they’ve heard Trump voice doubts about autonomous vehicles in conversation, apparently sometimes acting out scenes where the vehicles veer out of control.
“You know when he’s telling a story, and he does the hand motions,” one source who’d seen Trump enact such a scene told Axios. “He says, ‘Can you imagine, you’re sitting in the back seat and all of a sudden this car is zig-zagging around the corner and you can’t stop the f—ing thing?'”
Another source described the President as an “automated car skeptic,” while Axios said he has also described the technology as “crazy.”
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A third source had heard Trump discussing the topic at his golf club in 2017. Another club member said he was excited because he’d bought a new Tesla and Trump replied: “Yeah that’s cool but I would never get in a self-driving car… I don’t trust some computer to drive me around.”
The president reportedly also told Elon Musk during a 2017 White House meeting with CEOs that he prefers traditional cars over Tesla’s autopilot feature.
Recently at SXSW, Trump’s transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, announced the launch of a new council to support “emerging transportation technology,” including autonomous vehicles.
However, a source told Axios that Trump could be persuaded into making the regulatory landscape for autonomous vehicles more hostile, as he already calls them “out-of-control death traps.”
SEE ALSO: Elon Musk said a Tesla car would be able to drive itself across the country by the end of 2017 — but it’s 2019, and that still hasn’t happened
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