Legislative meeting will discuss possibility of self-driving car - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Legislative meeting will discuss possibility of self-driving cars

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On Tuesday a legislative committee will consider two measures that would let researchers test self–driving vehicles in Nebraska.

"I think the day will certainly come when it's a common way that motor vehicles are operated. Not by a driver but by a computer," said Tom Casady, the city of Lincoln's Director of Public Safety.

Self-driving cars... A long fantasized dream by previous generations...

On Tuesday Nebraska will be one step closer to making it a reality.

One proposition deals with cars on the interstate while another is designed to help city officials launch a driver-less shuttle service that would carry passengers between downtown Lincoln, the Hay market District and the UNL campus.

The main challenge has always been having as many safety precautions as possible.

"Cities around the county are thinking about the kinds of changes that will be necessary in our laws to accommodate self-driving cars as the technology becomes feasible, and I think it's wise to do that," said Casady.

Not everyone is on board with the new proposals. Automobile manufacturers are concerned because the technology in the bill is simply not available right now and predicting the future can be difficult.

"When you can take most of the human element out of driving the chance of collision will be less but the technology is not there yet, not quite ready for prime time," said Casady.

The proposals come amid breakthroughs in automated vehicles, with a self–driving truck recently completing a 2,400 mile test run from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida.

Nebraska has always wanted to be at the forefront of technological advances but the automation could put millions of truckers out of work nationally if implemented to its fullest potential.

"It will happen, I'm reasonably certain of that. The question in my mind is how quickly it happens. My own personal opinion is it might be a little bit farther out on the horizon than many people believe," said Casady.

21 states have passed legislation related to automatic vehicles so far. Will Nebraska be next?

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