Shuster to offer driverless car rides to lawmakers

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House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is planning to offer driverless car rides to his fellow lawmakers next week. 

Shuster is planning to bring a driverless car owned his home state’s Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU)  that he test drove last year to Capitol Hill on Tuesday. 

The transportation committee chairman will offer members of Congress “the opportunity throughout the day for a 20- to 30-minute ride in the driverless car along a route through the Washington area, which will include complex traffic patterns and highway travel,” his office said Friday. 

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Shuster is hoping to demonstrate “the vehicle and the importance of technology to the future of transportation with a press conference adjacent to the Capitol,” transportation committee officials added. 

Companies such as Google have begun testing driverless cars, raising the possibilty of vehicles without parts like steering wheels and brakes being mass-produced eventually. 

Some lawmakers have expressed uncertainty about the possibility of allowing cars on U.S. roads to drive themselves. Shuster raved about the driverless car technology after conducting a test drive last year, calling them "the future of transportation" after his ride last 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. 

Critics have raised concern about insuring driverless cars and determining the liability for accidents that occur when vehicles are autonomous. 

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