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San Antonio city leader discuss possible uses for self-driving cars

SA research organization assisting in testing self-driving cars

The conversation about self-driving cars on your city streets is now before San Antonio's city council. The self-driving cars could soon start showing up along Fredericksburg Road.

The section of Fredericksburg Road between downtown and the medical center was chosen as a designated proving ground for autonomous cars in a national competition by the United States Department of Transportation a year ago. Now, city council is taking a serious look at what the technology could mean for San Antonio.

In a presentation during the City Council B session, Art Reinhart with City Transportation and Capital Improvements presented the mayor and city council with ideas for the technology in our town.

Some of the city use examples included city employment shuttles, city fleet integration, even getting people the last mile to and from the bus. But what got the city council's attention was the potential to prevent driver error crashes which according to the National Highway Safety Administration, accounted for 94 percent of crashes on the road. Ana Sandoval said for safety alone, the city should take a serious look at the tech.

“When you talk about the potential safety benefits of this, I absolutely think we should get there as quickly as possible if it means saving lives on our roads. So for me that would be important to continue hearing and knowing what those trade-offs are going to be.” Sandoval said.

While we may not see these cars on the streets tomorrow, Mayor Nirenberg and multiple city councilors spoke in favor to do a request for more information of the impact of adopting the technology moving forward, with some council members, most notably District 10's Clayton Perry wary of taking on and adopting so much of what is still a growing technology.

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