Community discusses bringing self-driving cars to the valley

- The Arizona Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety and Governor Doug Ducey are working together, testing the possibility of self-driving vehicles on Arizona public roads.

On Monday, the Self-Driving Vehicles Oversight Committee held their first meeting. They invited the public to share their thoughts and offer up any ideas.

"I think a Google car is gonna be a safer driver than I am," said Nancy McDaniel.

New technology -- a welcome site in Arizona. This self-driving vehicles committee put  together by Gov. Ducey is bringing new excitement to the valley. Google announced that Chandler would be the home for new testing.

"The very next day, I saw the Google car in my cul-de-sac and I got even more excited," said McDaniel.

Community members like McDaniel, along with valley businesses and other stakeholders got together to talk about how Arizona would benefit from these self-driving vehicles.

"I know that when you lose your license, you become dependent on other people, and that's the reason older people don't want to give up their licenses, so with the self-driving cars, we'll be able to stay independent way longer," explained McDaniel.

And while we are getting closer and closer to self-driving cars becoming a reality, officials say we are still years away from them becoming commonplace.

"There's a lot of research going on as to the legal and safety and technology factors that have to be looked at from a research perspective," said John Halikowski, director of ADOT. "There's a big partnership that has to happen out there between government and industry to make sure this is implemented safely."

Halikowski says there is still much work to be done, but self-driving cars will ultimately make our roads safer.

"As more and more people are using these devices and getting use to them, I think we're going to see a progression where they get more comfortable in giving more control to the vehicle."

Gov. Ducey says bringing these self-driving cars to Arizona will boost the economy, create jobs and promote innovation that will improve our way of life.


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