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Self-Driving Vehicle Laws Now In 22 US States

Self-Driving Vehicle Laws Now In 22 US States

In Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 16, 2016: PolySync Technologies singular vision is to simplify and accelerate the development of self-driving cars on display during the Los Angeles Auto Show. (Brphoto/Dreamstime)

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Wednesday, 09 May 2018 05:58 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Twenty-two states have passed laws guiding the operation of self-driving vehicles. Additionally, 10 governors have issued executive orders on the topic, and 10 other state legislatures have considered legislation. Eight states have not taken or considered any action.[1]

SelfDrivingVehLaws22RasmussNMHP.png

One unresolved difference between the states is how a "vehicle operator" is defined. "Tennessee SB 151 points to the autonomous driving system (ADS), while Texas SB 2205 designates a 'natural person' riding in the vehicle. Meanwhile, Georgia SB 219 identifies the operator as the person who causes the ADS to engage, which might happen remotely in a vehicle fleet. These distinctions will affect how states license both human drivers and autonomous vehicles going forward."

An earlier Number of the Day noted that 24 percent of American adults oppose self-driving cars and say that they will never use them.

When I wrote about my first experience in a self-driving car, I noted that it will take a generation or so "before we get fully autonomous cars that come when you summon them and let you ride without thinking about the road at all."[2]

One reason for the gradual adaptation, noted in an earlier Number of the Day, is that Americans tend to hang on to their cars for an average of 11.2 years. There are still nearly two million cars on the road from the 1960s.

Although it will take time to get there, the potential benefits are significant. The vast majority of interactions between police officers and American citizens are related to cars and driving. Self-driving cars might eliminate more than 32 million such interactions every year, freeing police for other duties.

Footnotes:

  1. The Brookings Institution, "The state of self-driving car laws across the U.S.," May 1, 2018
  2. Creators, "My First Ride in a 'Driverless' Car," February 12, 2016

Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.​

Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.

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The potential benefits are significant. The vast majority of interactions between police officers and American citizens are related to cars and driving. Self-driving cars might eliminate more than 32 million such interactions.
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2018-58-09
Wednesday, 09 May 2018 05:58 PM
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