Autonomous vehicles are driving new legislation across the nation and pilot tests are being rolled out. But for many citizens and legislators, the learning curve for autonomous vehicles (AVs) may still be quite steep and the desire to learn deep.
Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have AV legislation enacted — a number reflecting a significant uptick in the past few years. Governors in nine states, meanwhile, have signed AV-related executive orders. This wave of policymaking indicates a widespread acknowledgment that the technology is here, and states want to put the rules in place to protect citizen safety and encourage any economic development benefits to flow in their direction.
Let’s start with how they work. AV-related features and components are already in today’s cars, such as adaptive cruise control, warnings when the vehicle departs from the lane, and head-on collision-avoidance systems.