Google's driverless cars take lawmakers for a spin

Google’s driverless cars take lawmakers for a spin

Executives behind Google’s driverless car program push U.S. Congress to grant national auto safety regulators new authority to get driverless cars on the roads. Gavino Garay reports.

(REUTERS) – Google’s self-driving car program took a test drive on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, where director Chris Urmson urged Congress to make inroads to get self-driving cars on the road “soon.”

Before the hearing, lawmakers look a spin for themselves.

SENATOR BILL NELSON (D-FLORIDA),

“As I was going in to turn, and it is accelerating with my hands off but near the wheel, with a concrete barrier right in front with a sharp turn- it is turning, but my instinct took over and I grabbed the wheel.”

Urmson told the Senate Commerce Committee that lawmakers should give the U.S. Transportation Department the authority to help speed the cars on the road, and said the vehicles could actually make roads safer.

DIRECTOR OF SELF-DRIVING CARS, GOOGLE X, CHRIS URMSON,

“NHTSA estimates that 38,000 people were killed on America’s roads last year and 94 percent of accidents involve human error. Self-driving cars can help us change that.”

Critics have cautioned that the cars should not operate near schools, in the snow, or without the ability to respond to a police officer’s gestures.

Last month, a Google self-driving car hit a municipal bus in California… and while Google made software change since… actually getting the cars on the road is not without its speed-bumps.

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