Where do we grow from here? The future of cars

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Southwest Florida is zooming into the future. Experts say in less than 10 years, self-driving cars could hit the roadways and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is already preparing for the futuristic commute.

Traffic jams, accidents, rush hour… all gone.

“As that possibility becomes more and more realistic, we plan well into the future,” said Zachary Burch with FDOT.

He and his colleagues are already looking at the impact self-driving vehicles will have on Florida roads, and so far, things appear to have the green light.

“Will they allow more vehicles to be on the road because they’ll be able to drive together? Because they’ll be talking together?” said Burch.

“Florida is one of the leaders when you start talking about that,” said Don Scott with the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

He says in the coming months, testing will begin in Tampa with self-driving cars as the state starts to learn what the change will mean to Florida highways.

The state will get a number of cars and put on them on the Selmon Expressway in Tampa to see how they respond to other cars, work together, and handle on the road. Scott says they could even have an effect on your car insurance, and drive prices down.

“There’s a lot of crashes that are happening based on being distracted at this point, so if you can take some of that out of there, it’s obviously a benefit to it,” said Scott.

The technology could very well change the way we all think about commuting.

“Will roads be drastically different in terms of construction 25 or 50 years from now? It’s entirely possible,” said Burch.

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