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Center for Internet and Society - cars


Hawaii Legislators Introduce Autonomous Driving Bill

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 21:27:06 +0000

Six state representatives in Hawaii have introduced a bill (HB 2238) that would direct that state's "director of transportation, in consultation with the insurance commissioner and the examiner of drivers of each county," to "adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 providing for the operation of autonomous motor vehicles on highways within the State." This follows developments in Nevada and Florida.

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More State Developments on Autonomous Vehicles

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 19:01:41 +0000

Nevada's Department of Motor Vehicles has continued its rulemaking process for autonomous vehicles by announcing a public hearing on its draft regulations. [Update: The final regulation is available in the Nevada Register. I have offline copies of the drafts.] Meanwhile, a member of Florida's House has introduced a bill (HB 1207) that would (1) explicitly permit the operation, under certain circumstances, of "[v]ehicles equipped with autonomous technology ... for the purpose of testing the technology" and (2) direct that state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to "prepare a report relating to the safe operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology on public roads," including "recommended legislative action and proposed department rules." A state Senator has introduced a parallel bill (SB 1768) that would require only "a report relating to the safe operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology on public roads." Focus Areas: RoboticsRelated Topics: self-driving carsrobotsRoboticsNevadaFloridacarsAutonomous Driving[...]

Nevada Releases Updated Draft Autonomous Driving Regulations and Announces Public Workshops

Tue, 06 Dec 2011 23:34:51 +0000

Nevada's rulemaking process for autonomous driving continues. For the latest version of the draft regulations and information about public workshops in December, visit the Nevada DMV's website. [Update: The final regulation is available in the Nevada Register. I have offline copies of the drafts.]

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Nevada Releases Draft Autonomous Driving Regulations

Wed, 26 Oct 2011 21:39:53 +0000

In June, CIS reported Nevada's enactment of AB 511, which directs the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to "adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles on highways within the State of Nevada." Pursuant to this mandate, the DMV has now issued draft regulations. After holding a series of public workshops and hearings (not yet posted) and submitting its proposed regulations for legislative review in accordance with the Nevada Administrative Procedure Act, the DMV could issue final regulations as early as March 2012. [Update: The final regulation is available in the Nevada Register. I have offline copies of the drafts.] Focus Areas: RoboticsRelated Projects: Legal Aspects of Autonomous DrivingRelated Topics: self-driving carsrobotsRoboticscarsAutonomous DrivingNevada[...]

Nevada Governor Signs Driverless Car Bill Into Law

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 18:28:11 +0000

According to the Nevada Legislature's website, AB 511 "revis[ing] certain provisions governing transportation" passed the Assembly (36-6) and the Senate (20-1) and was signed into law by the governor this week. Although I am aware of no law that prohibits driverless cars, this appears to be the first law officially to sanction the technology. Specifically, the law provides that the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles "shall adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles on highways within the State of Nevada." The law charges the Nevada DMV with setting safety and performance standards and requires it to designate areas where driverless cars may be tested. (Note that this could take some serious time: Japan, for instance, has been promising standards for personal robots for years and has yet to release them.) I believe a previous version of the bill had an exception to the ban on texting for passengers in cars that drove themselves. Otherwise, the law is substantially similar to the bill I discussed in April. So I have the same nits. Overall, however, this is great development. Autonomous driving has serious potential but its safety and savings need to be evidenced in a controlled environment. Nevada---former host of the DARPA Grand Challenge---is now the lead car in the caravan. PDF of the law is attached below. UPDATE: The texting ban exception was passed as a separate bill. It reads in relevant part: "For the purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed not to be operating a motor vehicle if the motor vehicle is driven autonomously through the use of artificial-intelligence software and the autonomous operation of the motor vehicle is authorized by law." Thanks Bryant! Focus Areas: RoboticsAttachments:  AB511_EN.pdfRelated Projects: Legal Aspects of Autonomous DrivingRelated Topics: robotsRoboticscars[...]

Nevada Bill Would Pave The Road To Autonomous Cars

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 21:52:47 +0000

Is it lawful for a car to drive itself? In the absence of any law to the contrary, it should well be. A new bill is working its way through the Nevada state legislature that would remove any doubt in that state. A.B. 511 directs the Nevada Department of Transportation to authorize autonomous vehicle testing in certain geographic areas of Nevada. Should vehicles meet Nevada DOT standards, they would be permitted to "operate on a highway." The bill defines not only autonomous vehicle, but artificial intelligence as well. AI is "the use of computers and related equipment to enable a machine to duplicate or mimic the behavior of human beings." An autonomous vehicle uses "artificial intelligence, sensors, and [GPS] coordinates to drive itself." To be clear: autonomous vehicles are not yet the law of the land in Nevada. This bill must pass through two committees and receive a hearing before it can be voted on and become law. Some preliminary thoughts on the bill in its present form follow. 1) It is wonderful that the state of Nevada is being so proactive. The potential safety, mobility, efficiency, and other benefits of autonomous vehicles are enormous. Creating a process by which to test and certify such vehicles represents an invaluable step forward. 2) That said, the bill's definition of autonomous vehicles is unclear, even circular. Autonomous driving exists on a spectrum. Many vehicles available today have autonomous features, while falling short of complete computer control. Surely the bill's authors do not intend to require that, for instance, today's self-parking Lexus LS 460L be tested and certified. 3) My personal guess is that it was John Markoff's October 2010 coverage of Google's autonomous vehicles that sparked this bill. I base this on the presence of that article on Nevada's website under Exhibits/Senate. One hopes A.B. 511 is the beginning of an important conversation about the promise and perils of autonomous driving in the United States. This Center, in conjunction with the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford, has started a program dedicated specifically to the Legal Aspects of Autonomous Driving. We just hired a fellow. Look to this blog in the coming months for more on this topic. The bill itself is attached below. Thanks to Amanda Smith for her insights. Focus Areas: RoboticsAttachments:  AB511_R1.pdfRelated Projects: Legal Aspects of Autonomous DrivingRelated Topics: robotsRoboticscars[...]