Google Enlisted Obama Officials to Lobby States on Driverless Cars

Six Department of Transportation Officials in Google’s Revolving Door

Internal emails and government records show Google used its influence in the Obama administration to push its vision for self-driving cars, enlisting White House officials and federal regulators to lobby state officials about rules that might have hindered its business plans.

The company found a willing partner in the White House and federal road safety regulators, who lobbied state officials about Google’s preferred policies and issued legal advice supporting its positions. At one point, the White House technology advisor charged with developing policy on self-driving cars, R. David Edelman, simply asked Google to send its policy priorities for “us government types”.

Over the past five years, Google has worked closely with senior officials from the White House and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), meeting dozens of times and exchanging hundreds of emails to shape policy on self-driving cars. In particular, Google worked hand-in-hand with the administration to influence autonomous vehicle legislation in states such as California, Hawaii, and Florida.

Read the rest of the story at the Google Transparency Project.