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EUGENE, Ore. - A new statewide task force was created to study the future of self-driving cars in Oregon.
The task force consists of legislators, law enforcement officials, and truck and automobile companies. Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken will serve as a member.
Leiken said he understands that everyone's biggest concern is safety, and he believes the number one focus of the task force will be finding solutions to safety risks.
He said one thing that's actually minimized with self-driving cars is the risk of distracted driving.
"When you look at the different fatalities that are occurring in Lane County, there's a lot of distracted driving that's happening out there," Leiken said.
The meetings aren't far along enough yet to know how the safety concern will be solved, but Leiken said based on research he's looked into, he believes infrastructure will end up being a part of it.
Overall, Leiken said he's excited to be contributing to the advancement of transportation in the state. He said this could provide opportunities for business owners, taxi companies, rideshare companies, and more.
"My read on it is that this is clearly a wave of the future, and either Oregon is going to participate or not, and clearly by creating this task force there is an interest to participate but also to be very transparent about it," Leiken said.
The task force will be giving recommendations to the state of Oregon, which will then decide whether or not to allow autonomous cars in the state.