CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Drivers are hearing that they won’t have to wait long for “hands free” driving; with computers doing the bulk of the work behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that the first self-driving cars will appear on western Massachusetts roads in about five years. General Motors said it will have the technology in two years
The prospect frightens Angel Bermudez, the operations manager at United Tractor Trailer School in Chicopee.
“It’s scary, scary they (drivers) are wrapped up in their own little worlds today,” Bermudez said. “I’ve seen people reading papers, talking on the phone; not paying attention to what they’re doing.”
Bermudez favors more defensive driving training, instead of giving people behind the wheel less reason to pay attention.
Easthampton truck driver Jeremy Demers told 22News that he’s also skeptical about the safety of cars on the road depending on computers instead of alert drivers.
“I can never see it happening. I think it would be less controlling. This would be very shaky and I can’t see that happening,” Demers said.
Highway traffic safety experts are saying that carmakers will have to spend billions of dollars to pay for systems to make self-driving cars safe.