By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Auto Show kicks off Saturday at the Convention Center, where cars that can do some of the driving all by themselves will be in the spotlight.

But it’s the fully-autonomous future that’s led to so much innovation, and trepidation. A forum in Washington on Thursday sought to address some fears.

“What I am blown away by is the opportunity to save lives and improve safety,” said Heidi King with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Eliminating human error, which leads to the bulk of deadly crashes each year, is one promise of self-driving cars. King says the focus is on making that happen responsibly.

“We have an opportunity here to have a laboratory of our different states taking different approaches to learn from one another,” she said.

The POLITICO forum at the Washington Auto Show told of how autonomous vehicles will bring mobility to the disabled and the elderly.

Issues of privacy as well as jobs replaced by driverless technology are critical to address.

As for getting over the fear we might feel when a computer takes the wheel? Richard Threlfall with KPMG says that’ll be an evolutionary process.

“Autonomous vehicles will affect the way people live and the way in which businesses operate. I think consumer acceptance will come with exposure to the vehicles,” he said.

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