A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Jun 20, 2018

US States Are Enacting Legislation About Self-Driving Vehicles. No, It's Not Uniform or Coordinated

Herewith, a comprehensive guide to what states have done or are doing.

The federal government is also getting into the act, to say nothing of cities and counties. By and large, it's every legislative entity for itself. JL


The National Conference of State Legislatures reports:

Since 2012, 41 states and D.C. considered legislation related to autonomous vehicles. In 2017, 33 states introduced legislation. In 2016, 20 states introduced legislation. DOT (the US Department of Transportation) provides best practices for state legislatures and best practices for highway safety officials.
Many people consider autonomous vehicles to be a significant part of the future of the automotive industry.
As the technology for autonomous vehicles continues to develop, it may be necessary for state and municipal governments to address the potential impacts of these vehicles on the road.
Each year, the number of states considering legislation related to autonomous vehicles has gradually increased.
  • In 2017, 33 states have introduced legislation. In 2016, 20 states introduced legislation.
  • Sixteen states introduced legislation in 2015, up from 12 states in 2014, nine states and D.C. in 2013, and six states in 2012.
  • Since 2012, at least 41 states and D.C. have considered legislation related to autonomous vehicles.
  • Twenty-nine states—Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin —and Washington D.C. have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles.
  • Governors in Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin have issued executive orders related to autonomous vehicles.

Legislative Database

NCSL has a NEW autonomous vehicles legislative database, providing up-to-date, real-time information about state autonomous vehicle legislation that has been introduced in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
US map showing states with autonomous vehicle enacted legislation.

Federal Action

On Sep. 12, the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new federal guidelines for Automated Driving Systems (ADS). A Vision for Safety 2.0, the latest guidance for automated driving systems to industry and the states.
The guidance builds on NHTSA’s 2016 guidance. For more information on the 2016 guidance please see NCSL’s Info Alert.
Separated into two sections – voluntary guidance and technical assistance to states – the new guidance focuses on SAE international levels of automation 3-5, clarifies that entities do not need to wait to test or deploy their ADS, revises design elements from the safety self-assessment, aligns federal guidance with the latest developments and terminology, and clarifies the role of federal and state governments. The guidance reinforces the voluntary nature of the guidelines and does not come with a compliance requirement or enforcement mechanism. The guidance attempts to provide best practices for legislatures, incorporating common safety-related components and elements regarding ADSs that states should consider incorporating into legislation. Additionally, it includes DOTs view of federal and state roles and provides best practices for state legislatures and best practices for highway safety officials.
NHTSA’s updated guidance comes on the heels of the Sept. 6, passage of the SELF Drive Act (H.R. 3388) that aims to make several changes to federal law impacting autonomous vehicles. NCSL, along with several state groups, issued letters as the bill made its way through the House. The bill includes four main sections: expansion of federal preemption; updates to federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS); exemptions from FMVSS and a federal automated vehicles advisory council. For more information on the House bill, see NCSL’s Info Alert.
On Sep. 28, the Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) unveiled legislation regarding autonomous vehicles—the American Vision for Safer Transportation Through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act. The Commerce Committee will consider the legislation at a markup scheduled for Oct. 4. The AV START Act is similar to the House passed SELF DRIVE Act but does contain some significant differences. For more on the Senate bill, see NCSL's info alert.
In January 2016, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx unveiled new policy that updates the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 2013 preliminary policy statement on autonomous vehicles. This announcement was made at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in conjunction with a commitment of nearly $4 billion over the next 10 years to accelerate the development and adoption of safe vehicle automation. The new policy is designed to facilitate and encourage the development and deployment of technologies with the potential to save lives. Within six months, NHTSA will propose guidance to industry on establishing principles of safe operation for fully autonomous vehicles.

State Action

Nevada was the first state to authorize the operation of autonomous vehicles in 2011. Since then, 21 other states—Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont—and Washington D.C. have passed legislation related to autonomous vehicles. Governors in Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin have issued executive orders related to autonomous vehicles.
Florida’s legislation, passed in 2012, declared the legislative intent to encourage the safe development, testing and operation of motor vehicles with autonomous technology on public roads of the state and found that the state does not prohibit nor specifically regulate the testing or operation of autonomous technology in motor vehicles on public roads. Florida's 2016 legislation expands the allowed operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads and eliminates requirements related to the testing of autonomous vehicles and the presence of a driver in the vehicle.
Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order in late August 2015 directing various agencies to “undertake any necessary steps to support the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles on public roads within Arizona.” He also ordered the enabling of pilot programs at selected universities and developed rules to be followed by the programs. The order established a Self-Driving Vehicle Oversight Committee within the governor’s office. On March 1m 2018, Governor Ducey added to the 2015 executive order with Executive Order 2018-04. The order includes updates to keep pace with emerging technology, including advancements toward fully autonomous vehicles, as well as requiring all automated driving systems to be in compliance with all federal and state safety standards.
Delaware's Governor John Carney signed an executive order in September 2017 establishing the Advisory Council on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, tasked with developing recommendations for innovative tools and strategies that can be used to prepare Delaware’s transportation network for connected and autonomous vehicles.
Hawaii's Governor David Ige signed an executive order in November 2017 establishing a connected autonomous vehicles (CAV) contact in the governor's office and requires certain government agencies to work with companies to allow for self-driving vehicle testing in the state.
Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed Executive Order 2018-01 on January 2, 2018 to create the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment Committee to identify relevant state agencies to support the testing and deployment of autonomous and connected vehicles, discuss how best to administer the testing of autonomous and connected vehicles in relation to issues such as vehicle registration, licensing, insurance, traffic regulations, and vehicle owner or operator responsibilities and liabilities under current law, review existing state statutes and administrative rules and identify existing laws or rules that impede the testing and deployment of autonomous and connected vehicles on roads and identify strategic partnerships to leverage the social, economic, and environmental benefits of autonomous and connected vehicles. The committee must include two members of the Idaho Legislature, one appointed by the Speaker of the House and one appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. 
Maine Governor Paul LePage signed Executive Order 2018-001 on January 17, 2018, creating the Maine Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV) Advisory Committee to oversee the beneficial introduction to Maine of Highly Automated Vehicle technologies, and assessing, developing and implementing recommendations regarding potential Pilot Projects initiated to advance these technologies. The committee shall evaluate and make recommendations regarding proposed HAV Pilot Projects and require interested parties to contact the committee and apply for a permit prior to operating pilot vehicles on public roadways in Maine.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order in October 2016, “To Promote the Testing and Deployment of Highly Automated Driving Technologies.” The order created a working group on AVs and the group is expected to work with experts on vehicle safety and automation, work with members of the legislature on proposed legislation, and support agreements that AV companies will enter with the state DOT, municipalities and state agencies.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued Executive Order 18-04 on March 5, 2018, establishing a Governor's Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles to study, assess, and prepare for the transformation and opportunities associated with the widespread adoption of automated and connected vehicles. The advisory council must include one member from each party from each legislative chamber. 
Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Executive Order 2018-01K on January 18, 2018. The order created DriveOhio to, in part, "bring together those who are responsible for building infrastructure in Ohio with those who are developing the advanced mobility technologies needed to allow our transportation system to reach its full potential by reducing serious and fatal crashes and improving traffic flow." Ohio Governor Kasich signed Executive Order 2018-O4K in May of 2018, allowing autonomous vehicles testing and pilot programs in the state. In order to do so, companies must register with DriveOhio (created by the January 2018 EO) and submit information on their companies, intended areas and conditions to test in and other requirements. Autonomous vehicles tested in the state must have a designated operator, although they are not required to be inside the vehicle.
Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order in June 2017 to address autonomous vehicle testing and establish an autonomous vehicle workgroup. The order requires that state agencies with pertinent regulator jurisdiction “support the safe testing and operation of autonomous vehicles on Washington’s public roads.” It establishes an interagency workgroup and enables pilot programs throughout the state. The order specifies certain requirements for vehicles operated with human operators present in the vehicle and for vehicles operated without human operators in the vehicle.
Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker signed an executive order in May 2017 creating the Governor’s Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment. The committee is tasked with advising the governor “on how best to advance the testing and operation of autonomous and connected vehicles in the State of Wisconsin.” The order specifies the members of the committee, including six legislators from the state. The duties of the committee include identifying all agencies in the state with jurisdiction over testing and deployment of the vehicles, coordinating with the agencies to address concerns related to issues such as “vehicle registration, licensing, insurance, traffic regulations, equipment standards, and vehicle owner or operator responsibilities and liabilities under current law,” and reviewing current state laws and regulations that may impede testing and deployment, along with other tasks. The state department of transportation is required to submit a final report to the governor by June 30, 2018.
The box allows you to conduct a full text search or use the dropdown menu option to select a state.
Enacted Autonomous Vehicles Legislation
STATEBILL NUMBERRELEVANT PROVISION
AlabamaSB 125 (2018)Defines a truck platoon as “A group of individual commercial trucks traveling in a unified manner at electronically coordinated speeds at following distances that are closer than would be reasonable and prudent without the electronic coordination.” The bill also exempts the trailing trucks in a truck platoon from the state’s following too closely provisions if the truck platoon is engaged in electronic brake coordination and any other requirement imposed by the Department of Transportation by rule.
AlabamaSJR 81 (2016)Established the Joint Legislative Committee to study self-driving vehicles.
ArkansasHB 1754 (2017)Regulates the testing of vehicles with autonomous technology, relates to vehicles equipped with driver-assistive truck platooning systems.
CaliforniaSB 1298 (2012)Requires the Department of the California Highway Patrol to adopt safety standards and performance requirements to ensure the safe operation and testing of autonomous vehicles, as defined, on the public roads in this state. Permits autonomous vehicles to be operated or tested on the public roads in this state pending the adoption of safety standards and performance requirements that would be adopted under this bill.
CaliforniaAB 1592 (2016)Authorizes the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to conduct a pilot project for the testing of autonomous vehicles that are not equipped with a steering wheel, a brake pedal, an accelerator, or an operator inside the vehicle, if the testing is conducted only at specified locations and the autonomous vehicle operates at specified speeds.
CaliforniaAB 669 (2017)Extends the sunset date of the law allowing the testing of vehicle platooning with less than 100 feet between each vehicle from January 2018 to January 2020. Prohibits someone from participating in the testing unless they hold a valid driver’s license for the class of vehicle.
CaliforniaAB 1444 (2017)Authorizes the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority to conduct a shared autonomous vehicle demonstration project for the testing of autonomous vehicles that do not have a driver seat in the driver's seat and are not equipped with a steering wheel, a brake pedal, or an accelerator.
CaliforniaSB 145 (2017)Repeals a requirement that the Department of Motor Vehicles notifies the Legislature of receipt of an application seeking approval to operate an autonomous vehicle capable of operating without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle on public roads. Repeals the requirement that the approval of such an application is not effective any sooner than a specified number of days after the date of the application.
California SB 1 (2017)This bill encourages the California Department of Transportation and cities and counties to, when possible, cost-effective and feasible, use funds under the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program to use advanced technologies and communications systems in transportation infrastructure that recognize and accommodate advanced automotive technologies that may include, but are not necessarily limited to, charging or fueling opportunities for zero-emission vehicles, and provision of infrastructure-to-vehicle communications for transitional or fully autonomous vehicle systems.
ColoradoSB 213 (2017)Defines automated driving system, dynamic driving task and human operator. Allows a person to use an automated driving system to drive or control a function of a motor vehicle if the system is capable of complying with every state and federal law that applies to the function that the system is operating. Requires approval for vehicle testing if the vehicle cannot comply with every relevant state and federal law. Requires the department of transportation to submit a report on the testing of automated driving systems.
ConnecticutSB 260 (2017)Defines terms including “fully autonomous vehicle,” “automated driving system,” and “operator.” Requires the development of a pilot program for up to four municipalities for the testing of fully autonomous vehicles on public roads in those municipalities. Specifies the requirements for testing, including having an operator seated in the driver’s seat and providing proof of insurance of at least $5 million. Establishes a task force to study fully autonomous vehicles. The study must include an evaluation of NHTSA’s standards regarding state responsibility for regulating AVs, an evaluation of laws, legislation and regulations in other states, recommendations on how Connecticut should legislate and regulate AVs, and an evaluation of the pilot program.
FloridaHB 1207 (2012)Defines “autonomous vehicle” and “autonomous technology.” Declares legislative intent to encourage the safe development, testing and operation of motor vehicles with autonomous technology on public roads of the state and finds that the state does not prohibit or specifically regulate the testing or operation of autonomous technology in motor vehicles on public roads. Authorizes a person who possesses a valid driver's license to operate an autonomous vehicle, specifying that the person who causes the vehicle’s autonomous technology to engage is the operator. Authorizes the operation of autonomous vehicles by certain persons for testing purposes under certain conditions and requires an instrument of insurance, surety bond or self-insurance prior to the testing of a vehicle. Directs the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to prepare a report recommending additional legislative or regulatory action that may be required for the safe testing and operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology, to be submitted no later than Feb. 12, 2014.
FloridaHB 599 (2012)The relevant portions of this bill are identical to the substitute version of HB 1207.
FloridaHB 7027 (2016)Permits operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads by individuals with a valid driver license. This bill eliminates the requirement that the vehicle operation is being done for testing purposes and removes a number of provisions related to vehicle operation for testing purposes. Eliminates the requirement that a driver is present in the vehicle. Requires autonomous vehicles meet applicable federal safety standards and regulations. 
FloridaHB 7061 (2016)Defines autonomous technology and driver-assistive truck platooning technology. Requires a study on the use and safe operation of driver-assistive truck platooning technology and allows for a pilot project upon conclusion of the study.
GeorgiaHB 472 (2017)Specifies that the law prohibiting following too closely does not apply to the non-leading vehicle in a coordinated platoon. Defines coordinated platoon as a group of motor vehicles traveling in the same lane utilizing vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology to automatically coordinate the movement of the vehicles.
GeorgiaSB 219 (2017)Defines automated driving system, dynamic driving task, fully autonomous vehicle, minimal risk condition and operational design domain. Exempts a person operating an automated motor vehicle with the automated driving system engaged from the requirement to hold a driver's license. Specifies conditions that must be met for a vehicle to operate without a human driver present in the vehicle, including insurance and registration requirements.
IllinoisHB 791 (2017)Preempts local authorities from enacting or enforcing ordinances that prohibit the use of vehicles equipped with Automated Driving Systems. Defines “automated driving system-equipped vehicle.”
IndianaHB 1290 (2018)Defines “Vehicle platoon" to mean a group of motor vehicles that are traveling in a unified manner under electronic coordination at speeds and following distances that are faster and closer than would be reasonable and prudent without electronic coordination. The bill clarifies vehicle platooning is exempt from the following too close provisions of three hundred feet. The bill also lays out an approval system for vehicle platooning in the state, including requiring the person or organization to file a plan for general vehicle platoon operations with the transportation commissioner. 
KentuckySB 116 (2018)This bill allows a motor carrier to operate a platoon on Kentucky’s highways if the motor carrier provides notification to the Department of Vehicle Regulation and the Kentucky State Police, including a plan for general platoon operations. The Department of Vehicle Regulation then has thirty days from the date of receipt to review the notification plan submitted and approve or reject the plan. If the department rejects a submitted plan, it must inform the motor carrier of the reason for the rejection and provide guidance on how to resubmit the notification and plan to meet the standards.

Only commercial motor vehicles shall be eligible to operate in a platoon. An appropriately endorsed driver who holds a valid commercial driver's license shall be present behind the wheel of each commercial motor vehicle in a platoon. A commercial motor vehicle involved in a platoon shall not draw another motor vehicle in the platoon. Each commercial motor vehicle involved in a platoon shall display a marking warning other motorists and law enforcement that the vehicle may be part of a platoon. The department shall promulgate administrative regulations to set forth procedures for platooning, including required elements of a platooning plan.
LouisianaHB 1143 (2016)Defines "autonomous technology" for purposes of the Highway Regulatory Act.
MaineHP 1204 (2018)This bill created the Commission on Autonomous Vehicles to coordinate efforts among state agencies and knowledgeable stakeholders to inform the development of a process to allow an autonomous vehicle tester to demonstrate and deploy for testing purposes an automated driving system on a public way. The commission will consist of at least 11 members.

The commission shall A. Develop a recommendation for a process to evaluate and authorize an autonomous vehicle tester to demonstrate and deploy for testing purposes an automated driving system on a public way; B. Review existing state laws and, if necessary, recommend legislation for the purposes of governing autonomous vehicle testers and the testing, demonstration, deployment and operation of automated driving systems on public ways; C. Monitor state compliance with federal regulations as they relate to autonomous vehicles; D. Consult with public sector and private sector experts on autonomous vehicle technologies, as appropriate; and E. Invite the participation of knowledgeable stakeholders to provide written and oral comments on the commission's assigned duties.

By January 15, 2020, the Commissioner of Transportation shall submit an initial written report on the progress of the commission and by January 15, 2022, the Commissioner of Transportation shall submit a final written report that includes findings and recommendations, including suggested legislation, for presentation to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over transportation matters.

Additionally, the Commissioner of Transportation shall adopt rules, in consultation with the Department of Public Safety and the Department of the Secretary of State, to establish a process to evaluate and authorize an autonomous vehicle tester to demonstrate and deploy for testing purposes an automated driving system on a public way. The Commissioner of Transportation may immediately prohibit an operator or autonomous vehicle tester from testing an automated driving system if the Commissioner of Transportation, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Safety and the Secretary of State, determines that testing poses a risk to public safety or that the operator or autonomous vehicle tester fails to comply with the requirements as established by rule. 
MichiganSB 995 (2016)Allows for autonomous vehicles under certain conditions. Allows operation without a person in the autonomous vehicle. Specifies that the requirement that commercial vehicles maintain a minimum following distance of 500 feet does not apply to vehicles in a platoon.
MichiganSB 996 (2016)Allows for autonomous vehicles under certain conditions. Allows operation without a person in the autonomous vehicle.
MichiganSB 997 (2016)Defines automated driving system. Allows for the creation of mobility research centers where automated technology can be tested. Provides immunity for automated technology manufacturers when modifications are made without the manufacturer's consent.
MichiganSB 998 (2016)Exempts mechanics and repair shops from liability on fixing automated vehicles.
MichiganSB 169 (2013)Defines "automated technology," "automated vehicle," "automated mode," expressly permits testing of automated vehicles by certain parties under certain conditions, defines operator, addresses liability of the original manufacturer of a vehicle on which a third party has installed an automated system, directs state DOT with Secretary of State to submit report by Feb. 1, 2016.
MichiganSB 663 (2013)Limits liability of vehicle manufacturer or upfitter for damages in a product liability suit resulting from modifications made by a third party to an automated vehicle or automated vehicle technology under certain circumstances; relates to automated mode conversions.
MississippiHB 1343 (2018)This bill defines “Platoon" to mean a group of individual motor vehicles traveling in a unified manner at electronically coordinated speeds at following distances that are closer than would be reasonable and prudent without such coordination. The bill also creates an exemption from the state’s following too closely traffic law for the operator of a nonlead vehicle in a platoon, if the platoon is operating on a limited access divided highway with more than one lane in each direction and the platoon consists of no more than two motor vehicles.

A platoon may be operated in this state only after an operator files a plan for approval of general platoon operations with the Department of Transportation. If that department approves the submission, it shall forward the plan to the Department of Public Safety for approval. The plan shall be reviewed and either approved or disapproved by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety within thirty days after it is filed. If approved by both departments, the operator shall be allowed to operate the platoon five working days after plan approval. The Motor Carrier Division of the Department of Public Safety shall develop the acceptable standards required for each portion of the plan.
NebraskaLB 989 (2018)This bill defines automated driving system and other relevant terms. The bill states that a driverless-capable vehicle may operate on public roads in the state without a conventional human driver physically present in the vehicle, as long as the vehicle meets the following conditions: (1) The vehicle is capable of achieving a minimal risk condition if a malfunction of the automated driving system occurs that renders the system unable to perform the entire dynamic driving task within its intended operational design domain, if any; and (2) While in driverless operation, the vehicle is capable of operating in compliance with the applicable traffic and motor vehicle safety laws and regulations of this state that govern the performance of the dynamic driving task, including, but not limited to, safely negotiating railroad crossings, unless an exemption has been granted by the department of motor vehicles (DMV). The DMV shall consult with the railroad companies operating in the state when considering an exemption that affects vehicle operations at railroad crossings.

Before an automated-driving-system-equipped vehicle may operate on the public roads, a person must submit proof of financial responsibility satisfactory to the DMV that the automated-driving system-equipped vehicle is covered by insurance or proof of self-insurance that satisfies the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act. Additionally, the bill clarifies that a person may operate an on-demand driverless-capable vehicle network. Such a network may provide transportation of persons or goods, including: (a) For-hire transportation, including transportation for multiple passengers who agree to share the ride in whole or in part; and (b) Public transportation. (2) An on-demand driverless-capable vehicle network may connect passengers to driverless-capable vehicles either (a) exclusively or (b) as part of a digital network that also connects passengers to human drivers who provide transportation services, consistent with applicable law, in vehicles that are not driverless-capable vehicles.

The Nebraska Rules of the Road shall not be construed as requiring a conventional human driver to operate a driverless-capable vehicle that is being operated by an automated driving system, and the automated driving system of such vehicle, when engaged, shall be deemed to fulfill any physical acts required of a conventional human driver to perform the dynamic driving task.

The bill also clarifies responsibilities In the event of a crash or collision: (1) The automated-driving-system-equipped vehicle shall remain on the scene of the crash or collision and the owner of the automated-driving-system-equipped vehicle, if capable, or a person on behalf of the automated-driving-system-equipped vehicle owner, shall report any crash or collision.

The DMV is the sole and exclusive state agency that may implement this act. (The state or any political subdivision shall not impose requirements, including performance standards, specific to the operation of automated driving-system-equipped vehicles, automated driving systems, or on-demand driverless-capable vehicle networks in addition to the requirements of this act. The state or any political subdivision thereof shall not impose a tax or other requirements on an automated-driving-system-equipped vehicle, an automated driving system, or an on-demand driverless-capable vehicle network, where such tax or other requirements relate specifically to the operation of automated-driving-system-equipped vehicles. 
NevadaAB 511 (2011)Authorizes operation of autonomous vehicles and a driver’s license endorsement for operators of autonomous vehicles. Defines “autonomous vehicle” and directs state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to adopt rules for license endorsement and for operation, including insurance, safety standards and testing.
NevadaSB 140 (2011)Prohibits the use of cell phones or other handheld wireless communications devices while driving in certain circumstances, and makes it a crime to text or read data on a cellular phone while driving. Permits use of such devices for persons in a legally operating autonomous vehicle. These persons are deemed not to be operating a motor vehicle for the purposes of this law.
NevadaSB 313 (2013)Relates to autonomous vehicles. Requires an autonomous vehicle that is being tested on a highway to meet certain conditions relating to a human operator. Requires proof of insurance. Prohibits an autonomous vehicle from being registered in the state, or tested or operated on a highway within the state, unless it meets certain conditions. Provides that the manufacturer of a vehicle that has been converted to be an autonomous vehicle by a third party is immune from liability for certain injuries.
NevadaAB 69 (2017)Defines terms including “driver-assistive platooning technology,” “fully autonomous vehicle” and “automated driving system.” Allows the use of driver-assistive platooning technology on highways in the state. Preempts local regulation. Requires the reporting of any crashes to the department of motor vehicles within 10 days if the crash results in personal injury or property damage greater than $750. Allows a fine of up to $2,500 to be imposed for violations of laws and regulations relating to autonomous vehicles. Permits the operation of fully autonomous vehicles in the state without a human operator in the vehicle. Specifies that the original manufacturer is not liable for damages if a vehicle has been modified by an unauthorized third party. Allows the DMV to adopt certain regulations relating to autonomous vehicles. Defines “driver,” for purposes of an autonomous vehicle, to be the person who causes the automated driving system to engage. Specifies that the following distance requirement does not apply to a vehicle using platooning technology. Imposes an excise tax on the connection of a passenger to a fully autonomous vehicle for the purpose of providing transportation services. Specifies requirements for autonomous vehicle network companies, including a permitting requirement, prohibitions on discrimination, and addressing accessibility. Permits the use of autonomous vehicles by motor carriers and taxi companies if certain requirements are met.
New YorkSB 2005 (2017)Allows the commissioner of motor vehicles to approve autonomous vehicle tests and demonstrations. Requires supervision from the state police for testing. Specifies requirements for operation, including insurance of five million dollars. Defines autonomous vehicle technology and dynamic driving task. Requires a report on testing and demonstration.
New YorkAB 9508 (2018)This bill amends SB 2005 of 2017 (see above) to add additional language regarding autonomous vehicle demonstrations and tests. Such tests and demonstrations shall only take place under the direct supervision of the New York state police and in a form and manner prescribed by the superintendent of the New York state police. Additionally, a law enforcement interaction plan shall be included as part of the demonstration and test application that includes information for law enforcement and first responders regarding how to interact with such a vehicle in emergency and traffic enforcement situations.
North CarolinaHB 469 (2017)Establishes regulations for the operation of fully autonomous motor vehicles on public highways of this state. Defines terms. Specifies that a driver’s license is not required for an AV operator. Requires an adult be in the vehicle if a person under 12 is in the vehicle. Preempts local regulation. Establishes the Fully Autonomous Vehicle Committee.
North CarolinaHB 716 (2017)Modifies the follow-too-closely law to allow platooning.
North DakotaHB 1065 (2015)Provides for a study of autonomous vehicles. Includes research into the degree that automated motor vehicles could reduce traffic fatalities and crashes by reducing or eliminating driver error and the degree that automated motor vehicles could reduce congestion and improve fuel economy.
North DakotaHB 1202 (2017)Requires the department of transportation to study the use of vehicles equipped with automated driving systems on the highways in this state and the data or information stored or gathered by the use of those vehicles. Also requires that the study include a review of current laws dealing with licensing, registration, insurance, data ownership and use, and inspection and how they should apply to vehicles equipped with automated driving systems.
OregonHB 4059 (2018)This bill exempts a person operating a vehicle that is part of a connected automated braking system from the traffic offense of following too closely. “Connected automated braking system” is defined as “a system that uses vehicle-to-vehicle communication to electronically coordinate the braking of a lead vehicle with the braking of one or more following vehicles.”
OregonHB 4063 (2018)This bill establishes a Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles and clarifies that the state Department of Transportation is the lead agency responsible for coordination of autonomous vehicle programs and policies. The Task Force will consist of 31 members, including two members from the Senate and two members from the House, with each chamber represented by one member of each party. Members of the legislature appointed to the task force are nonvoting members and may act in an advisory capacity only.

The task force shall develop recommendations for legislation to be introduced during the next odd-numbered year regular session of the Legislative Assembly regarding the deployment of autonomous vehicles on highways. The proposed legislation shall be consistent with federal law and guidelines and shall address the following issues: (A) Licensing and registration; (B) Law enforcement and accident reporting; (C) Cybersecurity; and (D) Insurance and liability.

The task force may study and consider the potential long-term effects of autonomous vehicle deployment to be addressed in future legislation, including the following: (a) Land use; (b) Road and infrastructure design; (c) Public transit; (d) Workforce changes; or (e) State responsibilities relating to cybersecurity and privacy.

The task force must submit a report with recommendations for legislation to the appropriate interim committee of the legislature related to transportation no later than September 15, 2018.
PennsylvaniaSB 1267 (2016)Allows the use of allocated funds, up to $40,000,000, for intelligent transportation system applications, such as autonomous and connected vehicle-related technology, in addition to other specified uses.
South CarolinaHB 3289 (2017)Specifies that minimum following distance laws for vehicles traveling along a highway does not apply to the operator of any non-leading vehicle traveling in a platoon.
TennesseeSB 598 (2015)Relates to motor vehicles. Prohibits local governments from banning the use of motor vehicles equipped with autonomous technology.
TennesseeSB 2333 (2016)Allows a motor vehicle to be operated, or to be equipped with, an integrated electronic display visible to the operator while the motor vehicle's autonomous technology is engaged.
TennesseeSB 1561 (2016)Redefines "autonomous technology" for purposes of preemption. Defines "driving mode" and "dynamic driving task."
TennesseeSB 676 (2017)Permits the operation of a platoon on streets and highways in the state after the person provides notification to the department of transportation and the department of safety.
TennesseeSB 151 (2017)Creates the “Automated Vehicles Act.” Defines a number of terms. Modifies laws related to unattended motor vehicles, child passenger restraint systems, seat belts, and crash reporting in order to address ADS-operated vehicles. Specifies that ADS-operated vehicles are exempt from licensing requirements. Permits ADS-operated vehicles on streets and highways in the state without a driver in the vehicle if it meets certain conditions. Preempts local regulation of ADS-operated vehicles. Specifies that the ADS shall be considered a driver for liability purposes when it is fully engaged and operated properly. Makes it a class A misdemeanor to operate a motor vehicle on public roads in the states without a human driver in the driver’s seat without meeting the requirements of this Act. Specifies that this Act only applies to vehicles in high or full automation mode. 
TexasHB 1791 (2017)Allows the use of a connected braking system in order to maintain the appropriate distance between vehicles. Specifies that "connected braking system" means a system by which the braking of one vehicle is electronically coordinated with the braking system of following a vehicle. 
TexasSB 2205 (2017)Defines a number of terms, including “automated driving system,” “automated motor vehicle,” “entire dynamic driving task” and “human operator.” Preempts local regulation of automated motor vehicles and automated driving systems. Specifies that the owner of an automated driving system is the operator of the vehicle when the system is engaged and the system is considered licensed to operate the vehicle. Allows an automated motor vehicle to operate in the state regardless of whether a human operator is present in the vehicle, as long as certain requirements are met.
UtahHB 373 (2015)Authorizes the Department of Transportation to conduct a connected vehicle technology testing program.
UtahHB 280 (2016)Requires a study related to autonomous vehicles, including evaluating NHTSA and AAMVA standards and best practices, evaluating appropriate safety features and regulatory strategies and developing recommendations.
UtahSB 56 (2018) This bill amended HB 373 of 2015 (see above) to define a “connected platooning system" to mean a system that uses vehicle-to-vehicle communication to electronically coordinate the speed and braking of a lead vehicle with the speed and braking of one or more following vehicles.
VirginiaHB 454 (2016)Allows the viewing of a visual display while a vehicle is being operated autonomously.
VermontHB 494 (2017)Requires the department of transportation convene a meeting of stakeholders with expertise on a range of topics related to automated vehicles. The secretary of transportation must report to the House and Senate committees on transportation regarding the meetings and any recommendations related automated vehicles, including proposed legislation. 
WashingtonHB 2970 (2018)The Washington State Transportation Commission must convene an executive and legislative work group to develop policy recommendations to address the operation of autonomous vehicles on public roadways in the state.
Washington, D.C.2012 DC B 19-0931Defines "autonomous vehicle” as "a vehicle capable of navigating District roadways and interpreting traffic-control devices without a driver actively operating any of the vehicle’s control systems." Requires a human driver "prepared to take control of the autonomous vehicle at any moment." Restricts conversion to recent vehicles, and addresses the liability of the original manufacturer of a converted vehicle.
WisconsinSB 695 (2018)This bill defines a “platoon” as a group of individual motor vehicles traveling in a unified manner at electronically coordinated speeds. This bill creates an exception for platoons to the traffic law requiring the operator of a motor truck with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds to maintain a distance of not less than 500 feet behind the vehicle immediately preceding.   

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