Northern Virginia Poised to Become Leader in Driverless Cars

Jul 5, 2016

It’s been more than a century since horseless carriages started revolutionizing transportation across America. Now driverless cars are about to reshape the American landscape, and a new report from George Mason University says Virginia is poised to become a leader in the industry.  

Detroit has been the home of automakers for more than one hundred years. Silicon Valley has the lock on the high tech sector, however, but a new report from George Mason University says Northern Virginia has the potential to corner the market in driverless cars. Frank Shafroth helped write the report.  

“Whoever is there first is going to win the prize and the prize is going to be more than a trillion dollars."

$1.5 trillion dollars in new revenue, to be specific. But that’s only if local governments start working together to share revenues the way folks in Silicon Valley have done for years.

Libby Schreffler at Fairfax County says one way to start is for local government leaders to look beyond the next election cycle and start incorporating driverless cars into their comprehensive plans.

“The twenty five largest municipalities don’t include this technology in their comprehensive plan, so not only in this area is there a dearth of even planning for this but it’s a nationwide issue."

The report, titled “Driving the Future” acknowledges that local governments in Virginia have a history of seeing each other as competitors instead of partners. The report believes that now is the time to start working together if the state wants to free itself of its dependence on money from the federal government.