Driverless cars coming to Arizona - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Driverless cars coming to Arizona

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TUCSON – More self-driving cars are getting ready to test in Arizona.

Gov. Doug Ducey applauded Uber for taking its experimental vehicles out of California.

Larry Head is an engineering professor at the University of Arizona. He is on the governor’s oversight committee to promote self-driving vehicles.

“People should be a little more open-minded and be excited about the opportunity,” Head said. “Technology is really cool.”

He is looking forward to possibilities for people who are visually or physically impaired. He also said the driverless technologies will help the development of all cars.

“The computer is a much more analytical, tireless monitor of what's going on in the environment,” Head said.

Sen. Steve Farley is skeptical.

“I'm not sure that they ought to be beta testing on our citizens,” Farley said, “because our lives are pretty valuable.”

The test vehicles will still have a driver who can take control.

“This is the most dangerous part of the phasing in,” Farley said. “We are going to go to driverless cars, there is no doubt. But in this time, when there is still someone behind the wheel who has to be willing to take over in case there is a problem, it's incredibly dangerous.”

Traffic deaths killed 35,398 people in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“Maybe it will save a lot of lives instead of costing a lot of lives,” Head said.

“This is going to happen, but it's not ready for prime-time yet,” Farley said. “And I want to make sure that our citizens are protected.”

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