Florida is trying to take a leadership position on driverless cars with a new piece of legislation that was signed into law earlier this month. As of July 1, driverless cars will be able to operate on Florida roads.
Within Florida, Tampa is pushing to become a testbed for the technology and the new law will take that effort further.
Other states have beat Florida to the punch when it comes to allowing driverless cars on the road – Nevada passed the first bill allowing testing in 2011. Florida had an allowance for research,but not for driving them on public roadways. The new bill will allow that.
As CivSource reported last month Arizona has also created a legislative committee focused on driverless cars and is working to bring automakers to the state. In February, Ford announced that it would be using its proving ground in Arizona to test its driverless car there.
California and Michigan also have testbeds in place.
According to a piece in the Orlando Sentinel, some engineers in Florida think the new bill could open up new ways to reduce congestion on Florida’s busy highways in addition to developing single passenger cars.