ENCORE: Self-Driving Cars Testing on Florida Roads

Aug 23, 2017

Could the next car you buy drive itself? As technology for self-driving or "autonomous" vehicles improves, Florida lawmakers, transportation officials, and businesses are positioning the state as one of the leading test beds for driverless cars.

Lee County is making its own preparations, and the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority is just one of three pilot projects in the country getting federal Department of Transportation dollars. 

THEA is spending $17.7 million on a "connected highway" project linking buses, streetcars, and 1,500 cars with wireless communications to relay traffic and safety information with other vehicles and road infrastructure. 

It's also using that funding for an autonomous vehicle test bed along is Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.

Fort Myers News-Press reporter Bill Smith joins the program to discuss his reporting on the steps Florida is taking, from lawmakers to local and statewide Departments of Transportation to technology, to usher in a future where driving could be a thing of the past.