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RI lays welcome mat for self-driving cars

Rhode Island is asking self-driving car companies to consider the smallest state as a testing ground.

The state Department of Transportation has put out a request seeking ideas from developers of autonomous and internet-connected vehicles. State officials held an informational meeting Monday.

Transportation officials say they're still in the early stages of scoping out how Rhode Island could adopt cutting-edge transportation systems and prepare its workforce for changes in how people will get around.

The state is encouraging companies and academic researchers to come up with ideas. Officials have proposed several possible locations, including highway shoulder lanes, downtowns, a college campus and the Quonset seaport.

Self-driving car experimentation is already picking up in neighboring Massachusetts, where three companies have permission to test their vehicles in Boston's Seaport District.



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