SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Transportation has begun a statewide initiative among multiple government agencies to develop a testing program for connected and autonomous vehicles.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed an executive order last week directing IDOT to develop a program called “Autonomous Illinois ” to keep it ahead in research on the emerging safety technologies.

The order requires IDOT to supervise a program that requires an automated car to have a driver at the steering wheel able to take control if necessary. Connected cars are those equipped with internet or wireless networks capable of sharing information to benefit a driver.

Autonomous Illinois will recruit communities that want to test the technologies with local industry, universities or other organizations.

Private organizations will assist in planning infrastructure, data and support needs for testing.

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