House gears up for driverless car hearing

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The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will meet Tuesday to consider the future of self-driving cars.

The hearing is a rescheduled meeting from last month, when the review was canceled in the midst of the federal government shutdown.

With the government now back open, the panel will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss “how autonomous vehicles will shape the future of surface transportation," according to officials with the panel.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) has pronounced himself a fan of driverless cars, calling them "the future of transportation" after conducting a test drive earlier this fall.

"This technology has significant potential to make transportation safer and more efficient," Shuster said in a statement released after his test drive. 

"We have to figure out how to embrace technology, in the way we build our infrastructure, comply with existing and future laws, and ensure the safety of the public," he continued.

Other prominent Republicans, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have heaped praise on the technology.

Gingrich referred to autonomous cars in his latest book as "the greatest breakthrough in automobiles since the internal combustion engine."

"Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Audi and Volvo have all demonstrated prototype self-driving cars of some capacity, although none seems to have matched Google's performance," the former Speaker wrote. "One thing is certain: now that [Google Vice President Sebastian] Thrun and his fellow pioneers have created the technology, Americans are going to want it — from whatever manufacturer can provide."