Lawmaker seeks study on self-driving car safety | KOB 4
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Lawmaker seeks study on self-driving car safety

Kai Porter
January 30, 2018 09:35 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- the thought of cars that drive themselves may be a little frightening, but research shows self-driving cars could save lives.

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One state lawmaker wants to get those wheels turning. Senate Joint Memorial 3 would create a committee to study the issues surrounding self-driving cars in New Mexico.

The legislator co-sponsoring the legislation, Sen. Jim White, said self-driving cars could one day make the streets safer. White, R-Albuquerque, wants to make sure New Mexico is ready when self-driving cars become a reality.

"Just about every automobile manufacturer is involved in autonomous vehicles, and we're moving in that direction," he said.

White's legislation wouldn't authorize the public to use self-driving cars yet, but it would form a committee to study issues like safety.

"The idea with the memorial is to get people together within in the state and see what changes we can make here to promote the advancement of those vehicles and also look at safety on the highway," he said.

White said about 35,000 people are killed in car crashes each year, and 94 percent of those are caused by human error. White believes self-driving cars could contribute to road safety.

"Full autonomy where vehicles drive without a driver and without a steering wheel is still a long way off," he said. "But as you see right now, we're getting pieces of autonomy in our vehicles -- lane centering, automatic braking, speed control. These things are there right now."

The joint memorial passed committee and is now on the floor of the Senate. If it passes there, it's off to the house.

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Kai Porter

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