Automated Driving: Legislative and Regulatory Action

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This page tracks legislative and regulatory developments related to automated driving, automatic driving, autonomous driving, self-driving vehicles, and driverless cars. It was started by Bryant Walker Smith (blog and Twitter), is maintained by Gabriel Weiner, and should be cited as:

Gabriel Weiner and Bryant Walker Smith, Automated Driving: Legislative and Regulatory Action, cyberlaw.stanford.edu/wiki/index.php/Automated_Driving:_Legislative_and_Regulatory_Action

For analysis of the current legal status of so-called autonomous cars in these and other states, please see Automated Vehicles Are Probably Legal in the United States. That report also contains draft model language.

Contents

International Law (Treaties)

Proposed amendment of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2014/wp1/ECE-TRANS-WP1-145e.pdf.

For discussion of the 1949 Geneva and 1968 Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, please see Automated Vehicles Are Probably Legal in the United States.

Federal Regulatory Guidance

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles on May 30, 2013.[1]

State Bills

File:Statusmap14small.jpg

Legislatures in the following states are considering or have considered bills related to automated driving.

Current

State Bill Introduced Last_Action Status Description
California AB 2258 2014-02-21 2014-04-28 Committee Authorizes the City of Lancaster to research and develop autonomous public buses.
Florida SB 1272 2014-02-25 2014-05-01 Committee
Georgia SB 369 2014-02-07 2014-02-26 Second Reading
Hawaii HB 1461 2013-01-24 2013-12-18 Committee Seeks to "authorize, for testing purposes, the operation of autonomous vehicles," defines "autonomous technology," "autonomous vehicle," "guided operator" (for testing purposes), and "manufacturer," requires manufacturers to apply before testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, establishes conditions for testing, establishes certain offenses, establishes conditions for operating autonomous vehicles, addresses liability of the original manufacturer of a vehicle on which a third party has installed autonomous technology, exempts a nonreckless guided operator from liability, and instructs the department of motor vehicles to (1) issue rules for testing by January 2, 2015 and (2) provide an annual report to the legislature.
Hawaii HB 2420 2014-01-23 2014-01-27 Committee
Louisiana HB 937 2014-02-28 2014-03-10 Committee Authorizes the operation of autonomous motor vehicles.
Louisiana HB 938 2014-02-28 2014-03-10 Committee Authorizes the research and testing of autonomous vehicles.
Maryland HB 538 2014-01-29 2014-03-10 Unfavorable Report from Committee Establishes a task force to study issues related to "self-driving vehicles" with a report due to the governor and general assembly on or before January 2017.
Massachusetts HB 3369 2013-01-22 2014-05-08 Committee Nearly identical to Florida's statute (with report due by February 2015).
Minnesota HF 1416

HF 1580 SF 1270

2013-03-14 2013-03-14 Committee Directs the commissioner of transportation to "evaluate policies and develop a proposal for legislation governing regulation of autonomous vehicles" by January 31, 2014.
New Jersey S734

A1326

2014-01-14 2014-01-14 Committee Defines "artificial intelligence," "autonomous mode," "autonomous vehicle," and "sensors," directs state MVC to establish a driver's license endorsement for the operation of autonomous vehicles, and directs the head of the state MVC to adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles.
New York S4912

A7391

2013-05-01 2014-05-02 Committee Defines "autonomous vehicles," establishes general requirements for autonomous vehicles, expressly permits their operation and testing under certain conditions, addresses liability of the original manufacturer of a vehicle converted by a third party into an autonomous vehicle, and directs the commissioner of motor vehicles to study the operation and testing of autonomous vehicles and report his or her findings, including recommendations and legislative proposals, by February 12, 2015.
South Carolina HB 4015 2013-04-24 2013-04-24 Committee Defines "autonomous technology," "autonomous vehicle," "operator," and "manufacturer," expressly permits testing of autonomous vehicles under specified conditions by certain parties, requires manufacturers to apply to and receive approval from the state DMV before operating autonomous vehicles on public highways, establishes minimum manufacturer certifications for approval, establishes requirements for data recording and disclosure, and directs the state DMV to adopt regulations by January 1, 2015.
South Carolina HB 4621 2014-02-06 2014-02-06 Committee
South Dakota SB 139 2014-01-31 2014-02-21 Tabled
Washington HB 1439 2013-01-28 2014-01-13 Committee Defines "autonomous vehicle" and "manufacturer of an autonomous vehicle," requires certification of vehicles for testing, directs the state patrol to adopt rules for such testing, including the rule that a "licensed driver is legally responsible for the autonomous vehicle for traffic infractions and criminal offenses in the same manner as a driver of a nonautonomous vehicle," and "does not prohibit ... operation and testing" before the adoption of those rules.
Washington HB 1649 2013-02-04 2014-01-13 Committee Defines "autonomous technology," establishes requirements for testing, establishes general requirements for vehicles controlled by autonomous technology, and directs the department of licensing to "review statutes and rules regarding autonomous vehicles and report ... on June 30, 2026."

Enacted

State Bill Introduced Last_Action Status Description
California SB 1298 2012-02-23 2012-09-25 Enacted As amended, defines "autonomous technology," "autonomous vehicle," and "operator"; finds that the state "presently does not prohibit or specifically regulate the operation of autonomous vehicles"; requires rulemaking before 2015; permits current operation under certain conditions; imposes additional oversight on the operation of vehicles without a human in the driver's seat; and requires that the "manufacturer of the autonomous technology installed on a vehicle shall provide a written disclosure to the purchaser of an autonomous vehicle that describes what information is collected by the autonomous technology equipped on the vehicle." Recent amendment struck previous language stating "the intent of the Legislature that current law governing the conversion of vehicles originally manufactured by a third party shall control issues of liability arising from the operation of the autonomous vehicle if that vehicle was converted by an autonomous technology manufacturer."
District of Columbia B19-0931 2012-09-19 2013-01-23 Enacted Defines "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 liability of the original manufacturer of a converted vehicle. Final version removed previous provisions requiring autonomous vehicles to operate on alternative fuels and imposing a vehicle-miles-traveled tax in lieu of DC motor fuel tax. Passed Congressional review (April 2013).
Florida CS/HB 1207

CS/HB 1207

2012-01-04 2012-04-16 Enacted As wholly amended, defines "autonomous technology" and "autonomous vehicle," "finds that the state does not prohibit or specifically regulate the testing or operation of autonomous technology in motor vehicles on public roads," specifies that "[a] person who possesses a valid driver license may operate an autonomous vehicle in autonomous mode," addresses liability of the original manufacturer of a vehicle on which a third party has installed autonomous technology, establishes certain conditions under which an autonomous vehicle may be tested, and directs state DHSMV to prepare specific report for the legislature by February 2014. See more.
Florida SB 52 2012-11-19 2013-05-29 Enacted Bans texting but exempts operators of autonomous vehicles operating in autonomous mode.
Michigan SB 0169 2013-02-07 2013-12-26 Enacted Defines "automated technology," "automated vehicle," "automated mode," "upfitter," 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 SOS to submit report by February 1, 2016.
Michigan SB 0663 2013-11-06 2013-12-27 Enacted Declares that the original manufacturer of a vehicle is not liable for damages resulting from another person's conversion or attempted conversion of the vehicle into an automated motor vehicle, or the modification of installed equipment, unless the defect from which the damages resulted was present in the vehicle when it was manufactured. Similarly addresses liability of subcomponent system producers for equipment installed by those producers to convert vehicles into automated motor vehicles.
Nevada AB 511 2011-03-28 2011-06-17 Enacted Defines "autonomous vehicle" and directs state DMV to adopt rules for license endorsement and for operation, including insurance, safety standards, and testing.
Nevada SB 140 2011-02-10 2011-06-17 Enacted Permits the use of handheld wireless communications devices in vehicles that are lawfully operating autonomously.
Nevada SB 313 2013-03-20 2013-06-02 Enacted Amends Nevada's autonomous driving statute to, inter alia, (1) incorporate and potentially modify certain rules promulgated by the DMV, (2) addresses liability of the original manufacturer of a vehicle on which a third party has installed autonomous technology, and (3) add "except in case of emergency" to the statement "that a person is not required to actively drive an autonomous vehicle."

Other

Bill status at conclusion of legislative session.

State Bill Introduced Last_Action Status Description
Arizona HB 2679 2012-01-30 2012-02-09 Failed Transportation Committee Defines "autonomous vehicle" and directs state DOT to adopt rules for license endorsement and for operation, including insurance, safety standards, and testing.
Arizona HB 2167 2013-01-23 2013-01-31 Committee Similar to Florida's statute. DOT report due by April 1, 2015.
Colorado SB 13-016 2013-01-09 2013-02-05 Indefinitely Postponed Defines "drive" and redefines "driver" in the vehicle code, establishes conditions under which a "person may use a guidance system to drive a motor vehicle," permits the use of a wireless telephone when using such a guidance system, provides that "[t]he driver is responsible for any damage caused by a motor vehicle being driven by means of a guidance system to the same degree as if the driver were manually driving the vehicle," eliminates following distance restrictions for a vehicle being so driven, and directs the "department" [of revenue or of transportation?] and the state patrol to submit a joint report by August 30, 2018.
Florida SB 1768

SB 1768

2012-01-06 2012-03-09 Tabled for CS/HB 1207* Amended with the text of, and laid on table in favor of, CS/HB 1207.
Hawaii HB 2238 2012-01-23 2012-03-01 Substituted* Amended to the exclusion of all autonomous driving provisions (which previously defined "autonomous motor vehicle" and directed state transportation director to adopt rules for license endorsement and for operation, including insurance, safety standards, and testing). See also HR 163/HCR 212 below:
Hawaii HR 163

HCR 212

2012-03-14 2012-03-30 Committee* Asks state DOT to review law and policy related to "driverless cars" and directs it to provide findings and legislative suggestions by 2013. Note that "HCR" is a House Concurrent Resolution.
New Hampshire HB 444 2013-01-03 2013-03-28 Inexpedient to Legislate[2] Establishes a committee of legislators "to study the use of autonomous vehicles in New Hampshire" and instructs the committee to deliver a report by November 1, 2013.
New Jersey A2757 2012-05-10 2012-05-10 Committee* Defines "autonomous vehicle" and directs state MVC to adopt rules for license endorsement and for operation, including insurance, safety standards, and testing. Identical to NJ A3020.
New Jersey A3020 2012-06-07 2012-06-07 Committee* Defines "autonomous vehicle" and directs state MVC to adopt rules for license endorsement and for operation, including insurance, safety standards, and testing. Identical to NJ A2757.
Oklahoma HB 3007 2012-01-19 2012-02-07 Committee* Defines "autonomous vehicle" and directs state DPS to to adopt rules for license endorsement and for operation, including insurance, safety standards, and testing.
Oregon HB 2428 2013-01-14 2013-04-17 Committee Defines "autonomous system," "autonomous vehicle," and "manufacturer," establishes application procedure and conditions for testing of autonomous vehicles, directs the department of motor vehicles to adopt rules for testing, establishes requirements (similar to California's) for data recording and disclosure, addresses liability of the original manufacturer of a vehicle on which a third party has installed an autonomous system.
Texas HB 2932 2013-03-07 2013-03-19 Committee Defines "autonomous motor vehicle," "autonomous technology," and "operator," requires operator to be licensed, and directs the "department" to "adopt rules authorizing" and regulating "the operation of autonomous motor vehicles."
Wisconsin SB 80 2013-03-13 2013-04-8 Committee Defines "autonomous vehicle," "autonomous technology," and "autonomous mode," specifies certain conditions for the testing and operation of such vehicles (including the presence of a human operator), and contemplates rulemaking by the state DOT.

State Regulations

Administrative agencies in the following states are considering or have considered regulations related to automated driving.

State Agency Title Last_Action Status Description
California Department of Motor Vehicles 2014-05-19 Regulations proposed November 29, 2013.[3] Modification to proposed regulations proposed March 6, 2014.[4] Regulations for testing by manufacturers on public roadways adopted May 19, 2014, effective September 16, 2014.[5] Regulations due by 2015. See California DMV's autonomous vehicles regulations website and full text PDF document list.
District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles 2014-04-04 Regulations proposed April 4, 2014.[6] Final rulemaking action to adopt rules possible beginning May 4, 2014.
Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles R084-11 2012-03-01 Regulation took effect on March 1, 2012. Further defines "autonomous vehicle," establishes a special driver's license endorsement, and specifies requirements for testing, certification, operation, and safety. See Nevada DMV's autonomous vehicles website.

External Links

State Legislative Process

Dates of 2013 State Legislative Sessions. Ballotpedia.
2013 Bill Introduction Deadlines. Stateside Associates.
State Carryover Procedures[7]. Stateside Associates.

Media

How an (Autonomous Driving) Bill Becomes Law (Video). An Oral History of Nevada's Groundbreaking Regulation of Self-Driving Vehicles. The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. November 8, 2012.
How Autonomous Vehicles Will Shape the Future of Surface Transportation (Video and Text). Hearing examining impact of automated vehicle technology on federal policy. U.S. House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. November 19, 2013.

Disclaimer

Be advised that this wiki offers no advice. Do not presume its factual or legal accuracy.

Notes/References

  1. http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/Automated_Vehicles_Policy.pdf. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. May 30, 2013. See also http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/U.S.+Department+of+Transportation+Releases+Policy+on+Automated+Vehicle+Development. "U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Policy on Automated Vehicle Development." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. May 30, 2013.
  2. In New Hampshire, "a bill is considered killed when the House or Senate votes to adopt the committee report of 'Inexpedient to legislate.'" http://www.nh.gov/nhinfo/bills.html. New Hampshire Almanac, New Hampshire State Library. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  3. http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/about/lad/pdfs/auto_veh2/express_terms.pdf. Express Terms, Title 13, Division 1, Chapter 1. California DMV. November 29, 2013.
  4. http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/about/lad/pdfs/auto_veh2/amend_express_terms.pdf. Amended Express Terms, Title 13, Division 1, Chapter 1. California DMV. March 6, 2014.
  5. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/autonomous/testing.htm
  6. http://dcist.com/2014/04/dc_preparing_for_terrifying_future.php. D.C. Prepares For Terrifying Future Of Self-Driving Cars. April 7, 2014.
  7. Some states have adopted carryover provisions such that bills left pending at the end of one legislative session can carry over into the next session.
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