• TDOT commissioner talks autonomous vehicles

    By Matt Masters -

    Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer spoke about the coming revolution of autonomous vehicles Thursday at the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch and Learn event at Five Oaks Golf & Country Club in Lebanon.

    Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Schroer the 29th TDOT commissioner. Schroer is also former mayor of Franklin.

    He spoke to a packed room of about 70 people with a presentation on the future of transportation and more specifically the coming revolution of autonomous vehicles that will operate almost completely free of human operators with the goal of safer, cheaper and more efficient forms of transportation.

    “Those cars are going to be available in the next two or three years in our country,” Schroer said.

    “You’re not going to be able to go buy a Ford Escort or whatever they’re selling, because those cars will be for their autonomous fleet. You won’t probably buy autonomous vehicles, and the reason being is because the way insurance is working, and the way the national government is talking about autonomous vehicles. They’re making the car producers, the manufactures insure that vehicle, so you won’t have to have units, that will receive and transmit information from the cars and to the cars. We’ll have traffic-signal coordination on Murfreesboro Roads, dynamic message boards telling drivers what to do and where to go, what speed to drive in order to reduce congestion, so lots of new technology that’s going to be involved,” Schroer said.

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