Lt. Governor Hochul on Self-Driving Cars

Hochul - "That is the future"

Mike Baggerman
January 29, 2018 - 3:00 am
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Self-driving cars are growing in popularity but still have a lot of work to do, according to a study released by AAA.

The study, released last week, shows that 63 percent of Americans are still afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, down from 78 percent in early 2017.

Autonomous vehicles are not permitted in New York State, though Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was told that these cars will be all that we have in the next ten years. She rode in the self-driving cars three times: once in Albany, once in Buffalo, and in the streets of Manhattan.

"That is the future," she said. "When you use the technologies, all the thousands of cameras that are on the streets and vehicles that are communicating, we will reduce the number of accidents. Ultimately this will be a safer mode of transportation...We have some testing going on right now (in New York State) to make sure we have the infrastructure in place to handle this."

She described her experience riding in the vehicles while going 65 miles per hour. 

"It was fascinating to see the vehicle anticipate there was a construction zone and on it's own pull into another lane and slow down," she said. "There's some sensors that read your eyes. If your eyes close for more than a few seconds it starts taking you to the curb because maybe you fell a sleep, had a stroke, or passed out. It actually anticipates more than humans do and can protect people's lives."

Self-driving cars are not without controversy. In California, a person riding a motorcycle and a self-driving car collided. A lawsuit is in the works against General Motors. 

LISTEN: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul on Self-Driving Cars

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