Self-driving cars closer than you might think – Orlando Sentinel

Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2015

State Sen. Jeff Brandes has ridden in self-driving cars three or four times, most recently at up to 120 mph on a test track in Sonoma County, Calif.

“You’re scared the first minute. You’re interested the next five. You are bored the rest of the time,” Brandes said.

Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, was instrumental in passing a law in the state Legislature in 2012 to encourage the testing and study of so-called automated or autonomous vehicles in Florida.

From what Brandes said, he has witnessed in little more than three years the day when cars essentially drive themselves down Interstate 4 or Florida’s Turnpike is much closer than many people might think.

“We’re moving fast. It’s exciting,” he said, predicting widespread use within 10 to 15 years.

High-tech companies such as Google already have set out small autonomous cars on the open road in California, albeit with a person in the driver’s seat, just in case. Others are in the hunt, too, including Apple, BMW, Daimler, Audi and Tesla.


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