MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have received federal approval to start testing driverless cars at sites around Wisconsin.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently designated UW-Madison's Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory as one of 10 groups nationwide as proving grounds for the vehicles.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports the lab does not have any driverless cars of its own, and has not yet partnered with a company that wants to test the technology in Wisconsin.
But researchers say the federal designation boosts Wisconsin's profile in research into the cars, known as autonomous vehicles.
Researcher Peter Rafferty says the lab is talking to companies about testing the vehicles.
Proponents say driverless cars can make roads safer by cutting down on crashes caused by mistakes, inattention or drunken driving.