WFTV Channel 9
ORLANDO, Fla. —
New legislation was passed last week that allows Florida drivers to buy and use autonomous cars.
Florida has paved the road for technology, allowing researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to test autonomous car. After years of testing, researchers concluded the cars are safer.
“I think it’s going to profoundly change transportation in every way,” Charles Reinholtz, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Embry-Riddle, said. “An autonomous vehicle will never fail to put on a turn signal (and) it will never fail to stop at a traffic light or a stop sign.”
Researchers have been test driving the vehicles on Florida roads for more than a decade now, but the technology will become available to consumers by July.
“Starting July 1, you’ll be able to buy an autonomous vehicle, if one is available, and that’s coming quickly. You’ll be able to get in the passenger seat and watch the morning news as you drive to work,” Reinholtz said.
Tesla remains at the forefront, but all automakers are required to have automatic braking by 2022. All automakers have some form of autonomous vehicle in the works.
“In the next few years, I think you will see a car (and) you’ll be at a traffic light and a car will pull up next to you that has nobody in the driver’s seat and that’s when people will notice the change,” Reinholtz said.
The University of Central Florida has also been key in the research by studying car-to-car communication.