Opinion

Automakers want feds to regulate your maps app

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Auto Industry,iPhone,Android,GPS,Apps

Every time you hear of a proposed federal regulation making headway, ask yourself, "which politically connected industry stands to benefit from this rule?"

When it comes to efforts to regulate GPS apps on your iPhone or Android, the answer is appears to be the automakers. The New York Times reports:

The department is intensifying its battle against distracted driving by seeking explicit authority from Congress to regulate navigation aids of all types, including apps on smartphones. ...

The measure has the support of automakers, which already mostly comply with voluntary guidelines for built-in navigation systems. ...

These guys make in-dashboard GPS devices that meet the standards the federal government has suggested. Great. That might help them sell some cars. Except, in-dash GPS becomes a less valuable feature in a car when you can get a free GPS app on your cell phone. So, to preserve the value of these companies' investments in in-dash GPS, it may take some regulation.

Maybe iPhone GPS apps are unsafe. But we certainly shouldn't regulate them because hey, even industry wants to be regulated!

h/t Ramesh Ponnuru.

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