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Officials preparing for influx of self-driving cars to hit the roads of SWFL


As self-driving cars start joining us on the roads— the county knows they will have to change traffic patterns to keep all of us safe on the road.

We learned that soon US-41 will be a framework for testing the technology on the streets of Southwest Florida.

Florida Department of Transportation says all stoplights, school zones, emergency signals, and even your car will be on one interconnected system to maximize safety and efficiency.

One Tesla owner in Southwest Florida tells us about his experience thus far in the new self-driving cars.

He says giving up controls takes the stress out of driving. Some of the concerns about taking control of the car out of your hands are how does the car reacts when a light turns red or when a lane is about to merge.

There are cameras and radar in proximity sensors around the vehicle that are looking at everything…That’s where it becomes pretty important to have the right markings on the road, the more predictable that we can make the drive experience, the better it’s going to be,” said Tesla owner, Brad Dohack.

Right now the technology is geared toward straight continuous driving, but Dohack’s car is proof that what we consider driving today—could be very different a few years from now.

That’s why officials are prepping for the self-driving cars now.

“The US-41 frame, will set up the lights and pedestrian crossings on US-41 to work with these cars,” said FDOT employee, Zac Burch.

So everyone can experience life in the fast lane.

“Right now, about 2,200 cars can travel per lane every hour. Best case scenario, if every vehicle is connected and talking together we could get to 4,000 vehicles per lane per hour,” Burch said.

If that’s the case, Burch says this technology could eliminate the need to widen major roads like US-41.


This article was originally published on

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