A new bill has been signed by the state’s governor allowing companies to test self-driving cars without a human backup driver.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that expands the testing and use of autonomous vehicles.
Future Car reports that autonomous vehicles will also become exempt from the state’s unattended motor vehicle law, which prohibits a vehicle from being unattended by a human without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition and removing the key.
It also exempts human operators of self-driving cars from laws that ban texting while driving and other potentially distracting activities, says Future Car.
The bill clarifies that, when engaged, the autonomous driving technology installed on a vehicle is deemed to be the “operator” in control the vehicle. This will be regardless of whether or not a human is physically present behind the wheel.
According to Future Car the vehicles must also be able to communicate with law enforcement in the event of an accident. The bill explains that, ‘In the event of an accident, the vehicle immediately notifies law enforcement with important information regarding location and type of crash.’