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Gus Bilirakis the latest self-driving car convert

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Republican U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis espoused the virtues of self-driving cars after a Tuesday meeting of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“The technology we have today has the potential to completely redefine how we commute to work, drop the kids off at school, and travel the country,” he said. “Self-driving cars also hold the prospect of making cars safer, reducing the number of fatalities on the road, and increasing mobility for the elderly and those with disabilities.”

“While government should monitor the driverless car industry appropriately, it is also government’s job to encourage innovative technologies and not hinder growth,” he added.

During the hearing, Bilirakis questioned National Highway Safety Administration official Dr. Mark Rosekind on proposed safety regulations for self-driving cars and the role Congress and state governments should play to regulate the industry without stifling its growth.

More information and testimony from the hearing, titled “Disrupter Series: Self Driving Cars,” is available on the committee’s website, while a video of Bilirakis’ comments during the hearing can be found here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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