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Automated Vehicles – Enacted Legislation in Florida

Florida’s 2012 legislation declared the legislative intent of House Bill 1207 (2012) is to encourage the safe development, testing and operation of motor vehicles with autonomous technology on public roads of the state and found that the state does not prohibit nor specifically regulate the testing or operation of autonomous technology in motor vehicles on public roads. House Bill 1207 defines “autonomous vehicle” and “autonomous technology.”  The bill further authorizes a person who possesses a valid driver’s license to operate an autonomous vehicle, specifying that the person who causes the vehicle’s autonomous technology to engage is the operator. Additionally, the bill authorizes the operation of autonomous vehicles by certain persons for testing purposes under certain conditions and requires an instrument of insurance, surety bond or self-insurance prior to the testing of a vehicle. To read this bill in its entirety, see https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2012/1207/BillText/er/PDF.

Florida’s legislation, passed in 2016, expands the allowed operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads and eliminates requirements related to the testing of autonomous vehicles and the presence of a driver in the vehicle. Specifically, House Bill 7027 permits operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads by individuals with a valid driver license. This bill eliminates the requirement that the vehicle operation is being done for testing purposes and removes a number of provisions related to vehicle operation for testing purposes. Additionally, this legislation eliminates the requirement that a driver be present in the vehicle. The bill requires autonomous vehicles to meet applicable federal safety standards and regulations.  To read this bill in its entirety, see http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h7027er.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=7027&Session=2016.

Legislation enacted in House Bill 7061 defines autonomous technology and driver-assistive truck platooning technology. This bill requires a study on the use and safe operation of driver-assistive truck platooning technology and allows for a pilot project upon conclusion of the study. To read this bill in its entirety, see http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h7061er.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=7061&Session=2016.