The Texas Department of Transportation has launched an autonomous vehicle task force that will study how driverless connected cars can work in the Lone Star State. The task force is designed to be a one-stop resource for information and coordination on all ongoing CAV projects, investments and initiatives in Texas. In addition to documenting public and private entity efforts and facilitating partnerships, the CAV Task Force will host industry forums and report lessons learned to facilitate progress and encourage greater collaboration.
“Our goal is to further build on the momentum already established with the Texas Technology Task Force and the Texas Innovation Alliance, and work with interested parties on the latest and greatest in CAV projects and enhancements,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass.
TxDOT says that it is interested in driverless cars because of the potential for improving public safety, commercial and personal mobility, and supporting economic development. Texas passed a law in 2017 that allows driverless vehicle testing and use on public roadways and testing is underway in Austin. State lawmakers are also considering additional legislation that would put stronger guidelines around liability for automakers when it comes to driverless cars.
Texas is the latest in a growing list of states that have launched task forces in recent years to study driverless cars. Arizona, Florida, Ohio and New York have all announced efforts. In 2017, Nevada pushed through legislation to expand its study and development of driverless cars. Driverless pilot projects are now underway in Las Vegas.
This week, state legislators in New Jersey also started debating a measure to establish a driverless vehicle task force. If approved, the bill would establish an 8 person task force that would focus primarily on safety standards and driverless vehicle integration on public roadways.