Hoping to get on forefront of new technology, Louisville prepares for self-driving cars

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is in the early planning stages of preparing for self-driving cars.

Just the idea of that could make your head spin. You could go back and forth on the pros and cons of the technology, but one thing is for sure.

“I think it's an amazing concept,” Louisville resident Srinivasa Eedarapalli said. "It's advancing at an amazing pace.”

So Louisville Metro Government is preparing for it now, being proactive rather than reactive. Grace Simrall, Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology with Metro Government, said autonomous vehicles are expected to be in the city in the next 10-20 years.

“What we're anticipating is that it would be more widely adopted by fleet and logistics first rather than by private car owners,” Simrall said.

But there's still a lot to be discussed, which is why public input meetings, like the one Wednesday night, are so important.

“We don't have legislation that really governs how [autonomous vehicles] operate in the commonwealth,” said Simrall, adding that there will be stages from a human still inside a self-driving vehicle to a fully autonomous one.

But safety is always a question. A Tesla on autopilot crashed into a parked police car Tuesday in California, and there have been other fatal crashes involving self-driving cars.

“We prioritize safety," Simrall said. "And so that’s our No. 1 priority: to make sure this is done in a safe manner."

Some feel the new technology is actually safer than having a human behind the wheel.

“They don't get tired. They don't drive drunk. They can see 360 in any inclement weather,” Allen Glenn said of self-driving cars.

If you were unable to make it to the public meeting, you can offer your opinion on self-driving cars by clicking here.

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