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The Florida Senate

CS/HB 1207 — Vehicles with Autonomous Technology

by Economic Affairs Committee; and Rep. Brandes and others (SB 1768 by Senators Negron, Ring, and Sachs)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Transportation Committee (TR)

Currently, Florida law does not address the use of autonomous vehicles. This bill:

  • Defines the terms “autonomous technology” and “autonomous vehicle” and provides the legislative intent to safely develop the operation of motor vehicles with autonomous technology on the public roads of the state.
  • Requires autonomous vehicles registered in Florida to meet federal standards and regulations for motor vehicles and to comply with applicable traffic and motor vehicle laws of Florida.
  • Requires safety mechanisms for engaging and disengaging the technology, indicators inside the vehicle that show when the vehicle is in autonomous mode, and a means of alerting the operator of a technology failure.
  • Requires the presence of a human being and creates insurance requirements for testing autonomous vehicles.
  • Creates a defense for the original manufacturer when legal action is taken due to issues arising from the conversion of a vehicle to an autonomous vehicle by a third party.
  • Requires the DHSMV to prepare and submit a report relating to the safe operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology on public roads to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than February 12, 2014.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2012.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 112-0