Driverless Car Goes On Road Test In Tampa, FL

Tampa, Florida -- We'll see more history being made Monday as the first-ever testing session for a driverless car continues on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.

The upper part of the highway -- the Reversible Express Lanes -- will be closed off from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Audi will continue the work it started there Sunday, demonstrating a car that can take over and do some of the most boring driving for you.

They're taking their Audi Connect prototype back into a simulated traffic jam, challenging the car's 22 cameras and sensors to make the millions of decisions a second to do the job in the Tampa Bay heat.

The system Audi is showing off on the Selmon is called Traffic Jam Pilot. The car can take over and drive for you below 40 miles an hour. You have to be ready to take back over with ten seconds' notice.

Audi says it could sell cars that do this within five years.

But regulations aren't keeping up with the technology. Florida is one of only three states where automated cars are allowed on the road. That uncertainty could slow down a rollout of these features across the country.

However, Florida's early embracing of driverless cars -- including hosting an automated vehicle summit in a few months -- is a big advantage for us.

We may benefit big-time by companies testing or even developing their cars here in our state.

And the Selmon Expressway is one of only ten places in America certified for driverless car testing, meaning that benefit could cluster here in Tampa Bay.

Promoting that Florida advantage is why you'll see Gov. Rick Scott and State Sen. Jeff Brandes out on the Selmon, taking the first rides in Audi's Piloted Driving prototype Monday morning at 10 a.m.


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