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Shuster: Driverless car ride 'impressive'

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said he enjoyed his ride in a driverless car this week, calling the technology "impressive" and "the future of transportation."

Shuster rode from Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University to the Pittsburgh International Airport on Wednesday in a driverless 2011 Cadillac SRX that is owned by the school.

The committee released video of the ride on Thursday, and Shuster said lawmakers should prepare themselves for the likelihood of more driverless automobiles being on the road.

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“Yesterday’s impressive ride clearly demonstrated that the future of transportation is coming, and we have to continue to be leaders in the field,” Shuster said in a statement.  “This technology has significant potential to make transportation safer and more efficient.  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."

Shuster praised the driverless car technology for rapidly improving from earlier models.

“Driverless vehicles have come a long way since 2007, when I saw Carnegie Mellon’s earlier prize-winning version of this type of car,” he said.  “That model was so packed with equipment it couldn’t hold passengers, but today, four of us rode comfortably in a car that safely drove us in various traffic conditions.  In only a few years, we may see driverless vehicles incorporated in the country’s automobile fleet.”