Safety Groups Buzzing About 'Crash-Proof' Car

The car had U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Barry Schoch, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, aboard.

A self-driving car developed by Carnegie Mellon University may be the answer to highway carnage. Last week, it demonstrated that it can negotiate congestion and highway traffic. The car, with a human driver who did not have to intervene, safely changed lanes and merged onto freeways during a 33-mile drive from Cranberry, Pa., to Pittsburgh International Airport.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Barry Schoch, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, were aboard during the trip. The university's software worked perfectly, relying on radars, lidars, and infrared cameras.

"We are extremely honored that Chairman Shuster and Secretary Schoch wanted to be part of this event today," said Raj Rajkumar, who co-directs CMU's U.S. Department of Transportation-funded transportation research center. He co-directs the CMU-General Motors Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab.

"We are fortunate to have government leaders with passion and vision for the potential of technology to transform U.S. transportation," he said. "The technology and infrastructure necessary for making transportation safer and keeping our nation globally competitive in the growing market for autonomous driving doesn't come easily or cheaply. Much work remains to be done on both the technological and policy fronts."

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