About a month after Florida legislature proposed a bill aimed at autonomous vehicles, Governor Ron Desantis signed the bill into law. The new law, which takes effect July 1st, states that a human is not required to be present to operate an autonomous vehicle. Additionally, the law exempts vehicle occupants to laws against distracted driving. This expands on the previous legislation where autonomous vehicles needed a person in the car as a backup.
The new legislation is seen as a huge win for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, who can now create completely driver-less fleets, reducing staffing costs. The law includes additional insurance guidelines for these ride-share companies that utilize self-driving cars.
Many Florida legislators have been huge proponents of autonomous vehicle technology. At the bill signing, Senator Jason Fischer expressed that “we in Florida are pioneering the most exciting innovations in transportation. The bill on self-driving cars will usher in a new era of smart cities that will not only expand our economy, but increase road safety and decrease traffic congestion.”
As more and more car manufacturers deploy autonomous technologies , we may soon see a road full of driver-less cars in the Sunshine State.