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Chao Says Companies Must Allay Public's Autonomous Car Fears

DETROIT (WWJ) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao telling the North American International Auto Show attendees Sunday she will give an interesting automated vehicle proposal from GM "responsible and careful consideration."

General Motors proposal says Chao is one more example of how rules need to keep up with changing times says WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert. GM has been testing self-driving electric Chevrolet Bolts but now they want to take that to the next level.

Chao says the auto and tech industries need to allay public fears of self-driving vehicles.

During a speech at the start of the auto show -- Chao cited polling that shows 78 percent of Americans are afraid to ride in a driverless car.

"What this petition states," said Chao. "That it would use automated vehicles, with no human drivers and no human driver controls."

Chao telling attendees at the auto show's AutoMobili-D conference that they should be encouraging new technology but they want to make sure that it's done in a way that is safe and that deployment helps those in rural areas where most of the fatal areas occur.

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"These technological developments are happening very quickly - the department will view this petition and give it responsible and careful consideration."

What's Automobility D? 

NAIAS says Automobili-D is a dedicated 150,000 sq. ft. exposition focused on the rapidly evolving global automotive and mobility landscape. The inaugural launch of AutoMobili-D in 2017 featured more than 180 brands, ranging from automakers, to suppliers, to tech startups as well as universities and government organizations. From John Krafcik debuting the fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica, to Carlos Ghosn providing insights into Nissan's plans for a connected future, to Julia Steyn on Maven's outlook on urban mobility as a "service," these great industry leaders and many others took the stage and delivered more than 40 hours of mobility-focused announcements and discussions.

For 2018, AutoMobili-D, will remain open throughout the first weekend of Public Show (Jan. 20-21) for the 2018 auto show to connect people interested in working in all aspects of the auto industry with companies at the first Future Automotive Career Exposition (FACE). The event, a partnership with NAIAS and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, will allow participating AutoMobili-D companies the opportunity to interact face-to-face with qualified candidates and fill needed positions across a wide array of disciplines.

PUBLIC SHOW - JANUARY 20-28, 2018 (More at

Dates and Times
8 a.m. daily - Early access for handicapped individuals
Enter at the Hall C Entrance only

Saturday, January 20 - Saturday, January 27, 2018
9 a.m. - 10 p.m. (no admittance after 9 p.m.)

Sunday, January 28, 2018
9 a.m. - 7 p.m. (no admittance after 6 p.m.)

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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