PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Pennsylvania transportation officials say testing could start next year on cars with no drivers behind the wheel, or no wheel at all.
PennDOT officials say if necessary legislation is passed, testing of vehicles with no one in the driver’s seat on Pennsylvania roadways could begin as soon as next year.
PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards says a task force drawing up policies for safely testing self-driving vehicles on Pennsylvania roads is on track to make its recommendations in the fall. But a number of questions still need to be answered, she said.
“Are we talking about the human operator who is the driver and responsible for the vehicle, or is it the self-driving system inside the car?” she said.
At the moment, testing of autonomous vehicles with a driver at the wheel is already occurring on Pennsylvania roads. But if legislation is passed, you could, as soon as next year, find yourself driving alongside test vehicles with no one in the driver’s seat, or with no wheel at all.
A major point raised at a task force meeting Wednesday was whether such vehicles would be marked, and if so, how.
NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Harrisburg correspondent Tony Romeo takes a closer look at the state’s plans for testing driver-less vehicles: