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Nevada Bill Calls for Legalization of Self-Driving Cars

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Inside Unmanned Systems discusses with Marc Scribner a proposed bill in Nevada that updates existing state traffic laws that would spur driverless vehicle testing. 

Nevada is moving in the right direction by anticipating fully automated vehicles operating without humans, said Marc Scribner, Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow. “Given that Nevada was the first state in 2012 to explicitly recognize the legality of automated vehicles, and authorize their operation on state roads, the legislature and regulators must now closely follow technological innovation and policy evolution to ensure state statutes and regulations don’t unnecessarily restrict automated vehicles,” he said. “In short, once you enact an automated vehicle law, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.” It remains to be seen how states are interacting with federal autonomous vehicle guidelines. The U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) late last year released its Federal Automated Vehicle Policy, detailing safety and regulatory requirements for testing and implementing self-driving technology.

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While several states are advocating the testing and use of autonomous vehicles on their roads, one organization wants to ban self-driving cars for 50 years. According to published reports, the Upstate Transportation Association, citing the potential loss of thousands of jobs, is asking the New York state legislature for the ban.

Among other issues, Scribner believes that the Upstate Transportation Association is wrong in calling for the 50-year ban.

“I see little chance of these paranoid ramblings becoming law. The widely mocked Upstate Transportation Association not only fails to understand the role of innovation in the economy, their expectation of fully autonomous vehicles replacing human drivers in just a few years is laughably optimistic,” he said. “Most experts don’t anticipate the release of these vehicles for at least a decade and for full deployment to take decades more.”

Read the full article at Inside Unmanned Systems