New automated vehicle technology promises big cost savings in transporting goods nationwide, but outdated state laws remain a roadblock, according to a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
“Within the next few years, automated vehicle technology could reduce the cost of transporting consumer and manufacturing goods around the country if state lawmakers make small changes to state driving laws to allow platooning technology,” said Marc Scribner, CEI senior fellow and author of Authorizing Automated Vehicle Platooning: A Guide for State Legislators, 2017 Edition.
“Automated platooning technology is a remarkable innovation that would narrow the gap between vehicles while still allowing them to move safely at highway speeds,” Scribner explained. “Platooning will reduce drag, fuel consumption, and traffic congestion and enhance highway safety.”
The CEI report is a nationwide inventory of state “following too closely” rules that offers specific, state-by-state fixes to amend statutes in a way that exempts computer-coordinated vehicle platooning from those laws.
The report updates an earlier, 2016 edition to show which states have made progress over the past year in changing laws to allow for future commercial platooning deployment. Beginning in 2017, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas have enacted exemptions, while other jurisdictions are considering similar reforms.