AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — With an autonomous car, the driver can basically kick back and let the car do the work.
“No feet on the pedal either it’s just basically driving itself, it’s a nice straight stretch of the road so just a comfortable ride. Almost boring, you can get some work done perhaps,” said Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
In May Governor Cuomo announced New York state is opening it’s roads to autonomous vehicle testing for one year.
An autonomous Cadillac SUV was built at Carnegie Mellon University back in 2011. It has technology that allows the car to drive itself. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul took it for a test ride today on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus.
“You really feel like you’re in an ordinary vehicle it’s not designed any differently other than have a few cameras pointed in different places. So I think that’s what people are going to be surprised at,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
“I will be making a right turn there so the key is to basically watch the steering wheel and see what the wheel is doing.taking a 90 degree right turn,” said Rajkumar.
supporters believe driver less cars could make traveling on the roads safer. The Cadillac SUV followed the speed limit and could even detect traffic lights.
“Traffic lights of the future will actually talk to automated cars and tell us what their status is way ahead of time,” said Rajkumar.
The driver can take control of the vehicle though, at anytime
“It’s just like cruise control and you disengage when you see fit,” said Rajkumar.
“I don’t feel like we’re that far off is what I came away with. I feel like I was in the car of the future but the future is right around the corner,” said Hochul.
This technology is being developed through a partnership between the University at Buffalo and Carnegie Mellon University. The state has put $500,000 into supporting the research at UB.
It could still be years though before self driving cars rule the road.