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June 12, 2015 1:30 PM, EDT

Nevada Governor Asks State Officials to Support Self-Driving Vehicles

Sandoval by Brian Calvert/Bloomberg News
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval wants state transportation officials to consider adding support for self-driving vehicles as part of a multimillion-dollar highway widening and expansion project in Las Vegas, the Associated Press reported.

The Republican governor, who referenced the autonomous-driving Freightliner Inspiration truck unveiled last month in the state, said he wants Nevada to be at the forefront of the emerging self-driving-vehicle industry.

“No one would have ever imagined this iPhone a few years ago, and I feel the same way about these autonomous vehicles,” Sandoval said.

Tom Skancke, a member of the state Department of Transportation’s board of directors, supported the idea and said it could help foster an emerging technology industry in Nevada, according to AP. 

Board members were updated on Project Neon, a multiyear project to widen and improve a 3.7-mile stretch of Interstate 15 near Las Vegas.

Transportation officials said the project is six to eight months from beginning initial construction, and the state has spent more than $102 million in acquiring land to expand the highway, AP reported.