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Could Self-Driving Cars Be Coming To Maryland Soon?

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- You might see driverless cars on Maryland roads sooner than you think.

Technology experts say in 10 years, it'll feel as normal as reaching for your phone. The experts tell WJZ Baltimore -- a city not known for its public transportation -- has a lot to gain from autonomous cars.

Futuristic cars navigating roads and surroundings without a driver are on a fast track.

"We're talking about a mobility revolution that changes all of our society," said Mark Rosekind, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator.

The driving forces behind the driverless car came together Wednesday at Johns Hopkins University to talk tech on the roadway.

"There is a kind of global culture safety evolution going on," said Matts-Ake Belin, Swedish transport administration.

Those on the forefront of that evolution say the ultra-smart, hyper-aware cars could save 37,000 lives per year by cutting out the factor of human error.

"So if you just take that as what the opportunity is here -- is that an autonomous vehicle will not be drunk, drugged, distracted or drowsy -- that is a huge opportunity for us to save lives," says Rosekind.

The vision for Baltimore is less reliance on our limited public transportation system and fewer cars on congested highways and roads.

"The technology is moving quickly, and while we're not seeing them on Maryland roads yet, they are on the roads in communities in other parts of our country," says Johns Hopkins University Associate Professor Shannon Frattaroli.

Though it was offered up, federal researchers did not choose I-95 as a testing site for autonomous cars. But federal researchers are using Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland, to experiment with autonomous cars.

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