Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), of California, has announced his new legislation regarding a Toyota Prius that has been modified by Google Inc., which is designed to occur alongside new regulations that are designed to permit the first autonomous vehicles in the world to receive their road testing and registration in Nevada.
This bill was announced at a Sacramento press conference and was written with the input of Google and is a reflection of that company’s most recent attempt to demonstrate to policymakers that although these futuristic cars aren’t quite yet for use by the public, it is still time to begin the development of laws that will cater to them.
Padilla’s bill would provide directions to the California insurance industry and Highway Patrol for creating regulations that are similar to what Nevada has already accomplished, for testing vehicles that drive themselves on the roadways of the state so that they may be properly developed for operation by consumers. These regulations, according to Google spokesperson, Jay Nancarrow, offer “a clearer path” in the technology’s development.
He added that “It is about creating the right kind of framework for the next step, should we move beyond the testing phase.”
Others states that have also been following the lead of Nevada by introducing similar bills include Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and Oklahoma.
The director of Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Law, Science and Innovation, Gary Marchant, said that laws such as these might be able to give the boost and regulatory certainty required by companies to maintain their forward product development. He added that the majority of states don’t specifically allow or prohibit autonomous vehicles.