FDOT incorporating driverless car technology

Auto manufacturers are working on driverless cars. It may seem like a page out of a futuristic book, but these vehicles are already being tested.

Autonomous or driverless cars have even been tested in controlled conditions here in the Tampa Bay area.

“When people talk about autonomous technology they think that it is the future. It is really here today with us,” Florida Department of Transportation regional secretary Paul Steinman said.

Steinman is one of the state’s biggest proponents of driverless cars. FDOT is leading the charge to incorporate that technology into the state’s roadways.

“The biggest issue we have on any roadway is that over 90 percent of the crashes are the result of human error. Well this technology can take a lot of that out of the equation,” Steinman said.

Some cars already use some of the technology, including automatic braking and self-parking. Still, for now, a driver must remain behind the wheel.

“If this technology gets better I am sure will be able to go to truly totally automated autonomous vehicles where you could read the newspaper or do whatever, but the technology just isn’t there yet,” Steinman said.

While it may seem advanced, Samuel DuPont knows the day is coming. He just wants to know it’ll be safe.

“Just making sure there is a lot of redundancy in the system, such that we are not putting people’s lives at risk,” DuPont said.

But not everyone is ready to embrace them. “I don’t think it is a good idea. I think computers have their place in the world, but I don’t think computers should be driving cars,” driver Chris Oldham said.

In fact, a AAA study recently revealed the majority of drivers aren’t quite ready to hit the road in a car that drives itself.

“I’d rather drive my own car because I can control my own car,” Yolanda Young said.

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