Lawmakers Push Bills to Regulate Driverless Cars

Eating and driving is a popular but dangerous habitSelf-driving cars are coming, and Louisiana wants to be ready.

A group of lawmakers has brought forth legislation to prepare for self-driving cars in Louisiana and to begin the process of regulating them. House Bill 511, sponsored primarily by Rep. Vincent Pierre (D-Lafayette), proposes a list of potential rules for the operation of self-driving cars in the state.

The key to the bill is safety, said Pierre, who joins with Rep. Julie Stokes (R-Kenner) and Rep. Walt Leger, III (D-New Orleans) in presenting HB 511.

What Would HB 511 Actually Do?

The bill would make it so that self-driving cars would be subject to state regulations and could not be taxed at the local level. Self-driving cars would also have to comply with existing federal, state and local traffic and safety laws. The bill does not go into detail on issues of specific liability, but it does describe the conditions under which these cars could operate legally. Under the bill, all self-driving cars must be insured, registered and titled, like any other vehicle.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the bill is that it would lay the foundation for an on-demand autonomous vehicle network. Think of it like a hivemind for self-driving cars that could be useful for ridesharing purposes.

If the bill becomes law, Louisiana would become the 13th state to pass legislation regarding self-driving vehicles. And given the strides in this technology being made every day by companies like Uber, Google and Tesla, it is important to stay ahead of the curve.


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