Driverless cars could be in Atlanta’s not-too-distant future. Major carmakers are rolling out prototypes, and the Georgia legislature started considering the implications last year. Now officials want to know what locals think.
The Atlanta Regional Commission is conducting an online survey to learn how coming technology could affect people’s lives, especially when it comes to how we travel and where we live. That includes the impact from driverless cars.
“We’re moving towards more automation, as well as more connectivity between vehicles, how vehicles talk to each other, may talk to your smartphone,” said Jane Hayse, who works on transportation for the ARC. She says the cars could start appearing on our roads in the next ten to fifteen years, though it could be longer.
The survey asks questions like, would having a driverless car change where you choose to live, or your daily travel patterns. It also covers the basics: have you heard of the things?
State lawmakers considered the issue, but in a report issued last month, decided to take a wait-and-see approach, as other states experiment with driverless cars.
Some areas here in Georgia are eager to get going. Fayette County has offered to be a test site for the vehicles, but is waiting for the state regulators to clear up their own questions.
“Change is never easy,” said Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown. “This is going to be a process of state leadership becoming accustomed to the new technology.”