MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Imagine getting in a car and doing nothing but telling it where you’d like to go.
Like it or not, Alabama lawmakers say that autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, are headed to the state. That is why a joint legislative committee met in Montgomery Thursday to discuss how these cars could work in the state. Ultimately, the group will create legislation around the solutions formed during future discussions.
“I think it’s probably inevitable that that’s the way were going, my person opinion i just don’t think i could do,” Montgomery resident Brady Scott said.
When it comes to these kinds of cars, Scott has a lot of concerns.
“I have too much of a control issue,” Scott said. “I just don’t think I could sit and have the car function without being able to intervene.”
Scott is not alone in his concerns. According to a 2017 poll by the Pew Research Center poll revealed, 44 percent of participants claimed they would ride in a self-driving car if given a chance, while 56 percent said they would not.
The committee is hoping to get the state’s road prepared for these cars.
“This will be something that is very important to our economy and that’s why need to get ahead this,” Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, said.
The University of Alabama and Auburn University have been studying this technology for years. Auburn even has a test track for self-driving cars.
“It’s sort of rewarding to see the talent that lies within our on state and we need to get ahead of it with the regulations,” Rep. Barbara Drummond, D-Mobile, said.
Part of those regulations would include public safety. David Bevly, professor of mechanical engineering at Auburn University as well as director of AU’s GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, told the committee these kinds of vehicles could potentially correct 90 percent of on-road accidents and reduce the number of deaths from those accidents.