Being a Florida state Senator does come with a few cool perks.
In a new ad released Wednesday, St. Petersburg Republican Jeff Brandes talks about Florida’s historic leadership role in technology and innovation.
“Leading the race into space (Kennedy Space Center), the invention of the PC computer (IBM in Boca Raton), new drinks to power the competition (Gatorade from the University of Florida), and technology to protect the world (Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base), we’ve never been far from the front lines of innovation,” Brandes says.
“Now Florida is at it again,” he adds.
Brandes was instrumental in bringing a measure to the Senate allowing developers to use Florida as a testing ground for safely intelligent driverless vehicles.
Driverless cars have an ultimate goal of reducing demands on increasingly dangerous roads. Google, which leads in the development of autonomous vehicles, estimates self-driving cars could reduce the 30,000 road fatalities and 2 million injuries annually in the United States as much as 90 percent.
“Autonomous cars designed by some of the brightest engineers on the planet, saving energy, and saving lives,” Brandes says.
Then he does something that only a few lucky people have experienced, at least for the time being.
“The best part about it is I get to do this,” he continues, while riding behind the wheel of a driverless Audi, his daughter in the back seat.
“Look Lottie,” he says while (safely) letting go of the wheel, “no hands.”