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IDOT Announces Driverless Cars, Says Illinois Needs To Prepare

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The head of the Illinois Department of Transportation said driverless cars are here, and Illinois needs to welcome them.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from the Loop.

State Transportation Secretary Randall Blankenhorn told the City Club of Chicago, his agency is already talking to companies that want to use autonomous vehicles to deliver goods. But he admits there are some hurdles to overcome.

Blankenhorn said that autonomous vehicles are here, and the Rauner Administration and lawmakers must work on safety regulations and standards for them. He opposes any ban on self-driving cars, despite a resolution passed by the Chicago City Council.

While there's concern because of a fatal Florida accident involving a self-steering car, he said, distracted driving has caused many traffic deaths and autonomous vehicles could reduce that.

On other issues, Blankenhorn also said he is encouraged by a federal transportation funding bill and Donald Trump's words.

Blankenhorn said he's encouraged that President-elect Donald Trump said he favors major transportation infrastructure projects, but he'll wait to see how that plays out.

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