Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Driverless cars, brought to you by Google, heading your way



Cars that drive themselves have long been the stuff of science fiction.

But in a bill that cleared another Senate committee today, these fanciful vehicles could fast becoming reality.

SB 1768 would require the state to study and establish the standards for the safe operation of autonomous cars and produce a report by Feb. 1, 2014.

"Many of the technologies we considered far-fetched in the past we use today," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart. It easily passed the Senate's Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development Appropriations Committee. Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg has a similar bill in the house.

Google has been developing driverless cars for several years and last year reported that it had test-driven robotic hybrid vehicles along more than 140,000 miles of Californian roads.

Justin Sayfie, co-chairman of Mitt Romney's campaign in Florida, is lobbying for Google.

No word yet from truckers or cab drivers about what they think of driverless vehicles.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 4:22pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours