DONALD TRUMP’S election has generated much uncertainty about the future of travel to America, but one group of travellers might have reason to celebrate: those who hope to ride in driverless cars.

The Obama administration hasn’t exactly cracked down on this emerging technology. The 15-point guidelines released in September by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which cover everything from data protection to allowing a sober person to take control of the vehicle in the event of a malfunction, are voluntary for now, although the agency does plan to formalise them soon. But under Mr Trump, regulation of autonomous vehicles could be far more laissez-faire—or even actively supportive.

The first clues come from his early appointments. Most notable is Elaine Chao, the former secretary of labour under George W Bush (and wife of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell) whom Mr Trump has tapped to become secretary of transportation. Ms Chao...Continue reading