State transportation officials say they’re planning to test driverless cars on a section of Interstate 380 in eastern Iowa sometime next year.
The DOT is partnering with a company, called Here, that’s creating real time maps of I-380 road conditions to guide those driverless cars between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Michael Miller, a truck driver who makes deliveries across the country, told KCRG TV he believes roadway safety will suffer.
“They (law enforcement) are always on us about what we have to do to be safe…but if they put something out here that’s going to drive itself, who is going to have to be in control of that? A computer? A computer messes up more than humans do,” Miller said. Scott Marler, with the Iowa DOT, disagrees. He says the computerized vehicles and freights will have HD maps in them that will constantly update road conditions and they will always know what’s ahead.
“More than 94 percent of crashes are tied into some type of driver error or driver choice, so with these technologies, we also know the potential to reduce crashes are more than 80 percent,” Marler told KCRG. Officials picked I-380 between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids for the driverless car project because of the high volume of freight traffic.
“We do believe this is the future of transportation in Iowa and we think it’s closer than most folks think,” Marler said. Miller, the truck driver, isn’t just concerned about road safety. He’s worried about losing his job if driverless cars become commonplace.
“This is all I know how to do. You take this away from me, what else am I going to do?” Miller told KCRG.
Thanks to KCRG TV