(Bloomberg) -- Automated cars have the backing of President Barack Obama, who’s signed off on what’s largely been a hands-off approach to regulating the burgeoning industry, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

The U.S. is allowing road trials by the likes of Alphabet Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. because real-world testing is critical to the technology’s acceptance, and for companies and regulators to understand its potential, Foxx said in an interview Saturday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week released guidelines for the industry that stopped short of offering prescriptive rules that car and tech companies have to follow.

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