Driverless cars will be coming to metropolitan areas in three to four years, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta said Thursday, and they have the potential to make the world a better place.

Blind people and other disabled persons will be able to travel more independently, he said during an interview at The Courier.

Busy parents will be less hurried and feeling more secure while a driverless car carts their children to events.

“You don’t have to worry because they have a vehicle that can get (your children) there safely,” Latta said.

As chairman of the House subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, Latta oversees the technology’s development.

Traffic accident rates, which have been on the rise because of drivers distracted by cellphones, would likely decrease, he said.

He has no doubt the driverless car is coming.

“The technology is advancing so much faster than they even thought,” he said.

But some bugs still need to be worked out. One big concern: Hackers could cause driverless cars to crash.

“The cybersecurity side is going to be one of the big issues out there that we’re going to have to really look at,” Latta said. “The bad guys are out there all the time.

“That’s going to be a massive issue for the companies … to also have the technology to make sure it’s protected against any cyberattacks,” he said.

“We need to make sure we have on the books the right legislation and the regulations,” Latta said.

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