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Autonomous Vehicles to Start Testing in Florida

June 19, 2019

FLORIDA – According to a news report posted online at, autonomous vehicles are going to start testing on roads in the state of Florida. Florida Gov. Ran DeSantis signed into a law a bill that removes a lot of the impediments that previously prevented many self-driving car developers from testing in the state.*

The law signed by Gov. DeSantis provides a clear path for the operation of autonomous vehicles in Florida. This includes autonomous vehicles that are engaged in testing with no humans operating the vehicles from inside. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2019, after which developers will be free to start performing self-driving experiments on Florida’s roadways. 

The prototypes that companies will be rolling out in Florida have to adhere to the state’s insurance and safety regulations. The cars must be able to safely come to a stop if an emergency occurs while no human is inside the vehicles. This will need to involve engagement of hazard lights, and gradually coming to a controlled stop in an area outside of oncoming traffic. The vehicles cannot just suddenly stop in the middle of a lane of travel, according to state regulations. 

When a human is inside of the vehicle, the vehicle needs to initiate some form of alarm that alerts the human operators if an error has occurred with the vehicle systems. Florida’s law states that the autonomous driving systems will be deemed the drivers of the vehicles, meaning that the developer companies will be responsible for any accidents caused by the vehicles. This is true even when human operators are inside the cars. 

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