Florida to Potentially See Autonomous Push

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March 21, 2019—Florida could adopt new driving regulations for autonomous vehicles. According to a report by WJCT, Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, is sponsoring a House Bill that would no longer require driver's licenses when operating fully autonomous cars, and also allow those without driver's licenses to operate the vehicle without an occupant present.

Rep. Fischer said 94 percent of crashes are caused by human error, citing a 2017 US Department of Transportation study. 

“Autonomous, also known as self-driving vehicles, have the potential to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, this error” Fischer said to WJCT. “And in doing so, transform mobility for Americans and redefine the automotive and transportation industries altogether.”

The legislation has cleared the second committee and would allow the Florida Turnpike Enterprise to fund and create autonomous testing facilities to further study the technology. 

The bill has been backed by representatives from Uber, Tesla, and the Alliance of Automobile manufacturers, WJCT reports.

But Florida Justice Association spokesman William Cotterall said he’s concerned about the accountability issues driverless cars pose.

“This equipment and this software at some point in time will fail and right now Florida is the testing ground,” Cotterall said to WJCT. “Right now the way it’s phrased, the operator of the vehicle is the software rather than either the owner of the vehicle or the manufacturer, and what that means is that every single case will be a products liability case.”



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