By Benjamin Goad - 11/20/13 08:50 AM EST
Federal transportation regulators are voicing support for the development of cars that can drive themselves, but it would likely be years before the vehicles are deemed street legal, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) chief counsel said Tuesday that the agency is encouraging research on autonomous vehicle technology, which could ultimately reduce the number of car accidents, according to the newspaper.
The panel’s chairman, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), has embraced 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.