Lawmakers to hold Q&A about driverless autos after test drive

A pair of lawmakers on the House Transportation Committee are planning to hold a Facebook question-and-answer session about driverless cars on Wednesday. 

The digital town hall comes as House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is planning to conduct test drives in a driverless car with lawmakers on Tuesday.

Reps. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) and Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) said Monday that they would answer questions on the popular social media website about “their experiences riding in Carnegie Mellon University's driverless car and how innovations in transportation will shape our future.

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“Bring your questions about driverless vehicles and connected vehicle technologies to the Transportation Facebook Page,” the lawmakers said in the announcement of the event. 

The development of driverless car prototypes by companies such has raised the possibility of vehicles one day being operated on U.S. roads without staple parts like steering wheels and manual braking systems. 

Some lawmakers have expressed uncertainty about the possibility of allowing cars on U.S. roads to drive themselves, but Shuster and other lawmakers on the Transportation Committee have gushed about them. 

Shuster raved about the driverless car technology after conducting a test drive last year, calling them "the future of transportation" after a test 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.