Hawaii and California driverless car legislation picking up speed

A resolution to ask the Department of Transportation to review policies and offer suggestions for driverless car legislation prior to 2013 has been introduced by 20 members of Hawaiis House of Representatives.

Driverless vehicle home-state California may be moving ahead quicker: Senator Padilla has introduced bill SB 1298 to remove remaining hurdles for testing and operating autonomous cars in California. The bill would allow the operation of driverless cars on public roads, provided that “the manufacturer certifies that the vehicle meets all of the safety standards and performance requirements to be specified by the department [of the California Highway Patrol]”.

If this bill is adopted, California could leap-frog Nevada to become the key state for operating driverless cars. Nevada already has approved legislation for the operation of driverless cars, but this is limited to state highways whereas the California bill does not contain such a restriction. California is not only the home-state of the Google driverless car group but also has has research groups from major automotive manufacturers such as BMW and Volkswagen.

Europe still seems to be asleep. Although the European Union has long encouraged the development of driverless technology, and France, Italy and Germany have very active research groups, they may have hard a time catching up once the train is out of the station.

Comments are closed.