Thinking about getting a driverless car? Tests have been underway for several years and the state of Arizona wants to lead the pack on developing them further. Last year, the University of Arizona announced a partnership with ridesharing company Uber to help test driverless car technology. This week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey created a driverless-car oversight committee inside the statehouse.
The committee is made up of transportation, public safety and policy experts who will support the state in the research and development of new “self-driving technology” that will allow vehicles to drive without direct or active human operation. The Committee will also work with the Departments of Transportation and Public Safety to ensure that policy recommendations and technology ideas also square with the needs of law enforcement and public safety.
“It’s in Arizona’s best interest to embrace new technologies and encourage innovation. In this case, it means new jobs, new research opportunities for our universities, increased transportation options for Arizonans and a number of social and public safety benefits that will improve the way we live and get around,” Governor Ducey said in a statement on the new committee.
Arizona has made a point of providing the space and the facilities to develop and test driverless cars. In Febrary, Ford announced that it would be testing a self-driving Fusion Hybrid in Wittman, Arizona at the company’s large proving ground there. The company has said it plans to have a fleet of driverless cars in Arizona for testing purposes by the end of the year. Ford is also testing the technology at proving grounds in California and Michigan.