Automated Driving: Legislative and Regulatory Action
This page tracks legislative and regulatory developments related to automated driving, automatic driving, autonomous driving, self-driving vehicles, and driverless cars. For updates, please contact Bryant Walker Smith (blog and Twitter). The page is currently maintained by Gabriel Weiner. 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.
Federal Regulatory Guidance
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles on May 30, 2013.
Legislatures in the following states are considering or have considered bills related to automated driving.
|Hawaii||HB 1461||2013-01-24||2013-01-28||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.|
|Massachusetts||HB 3369||2013-01-22||2013-01-22||Committee||Nearly identical to Florida's statute (with report due by February 2015).|
|Michigan||SB 0169||2013-02-07||2013-03-06||Committee of the Whole||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.|
|Minnesota||HF 1416||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||S2898||2013-06-24||2013-06-24||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||2013-05-01||2013-05-14||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.|
|Washington||HB 1439||2013-01-28||2013-05-13||Reintroduced||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||2013-05-13||Reintroduced||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."|
|Wisconsin||SB 80||2013-03-13||2013-04-08||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.|
|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||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.|
|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."|
Bill status at conclusion of legislative session.
|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||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||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||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."|
Administrative agencies in the following states are considering or have considered regulations related to automated driving.
|California||Department of Motor Vehicles||Regulations due by 2015. See California DMV's Autonomous Driving website. First public workshop was on April 19, 2013 in Sacramento and online. Second workshop was on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.|
|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 Driving website.|
State Legislative Process
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.
Be advised that this wiki offers no advice. Do not presume its factual or legal accuracy.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.