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Alabama Lawmakers Propose Laws to Prepare Alabamians for the Future of Self-driving Vehicles

April 17, 2019

ALABAMA – As reported online by, the Alabama legislature is working on plans to prepare for the introduction of self-driving vehicles.

Alabama lawmakers are proposing measures to help prepare for the future of self-driving or “autonomous” vehicles.  Currently, many well-known automakers such as Daimler (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz), Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota, have all invested billions of dollars developing the technology to create safe autonomous vehicles.  Some of these vehicles are already on the road (i.e., Daimler’s ride-sharing arrangement with Uber), but autonomous vehicles are certainly not yet ready for mass commercial production.

Lawmakers are seeking to develop the infrastructure and laws to ensure the state is fully prepared within the next decade to allow autonomous vehicles to operate within the state on a widespread scale.  Factors the Alabama lawmakers are considering include, among others, the following:

  • Whether certain individuals, such as those who are blind, must obtain a driver’s license before operating an autonomous vehicle;
  • How the roads and highways will need to adapt to enable the safe passage of autonomous vehicles;
  • Whether automakers will be ready within the next decade to launch autonomous vehicles;
  • Whether Alabama drivers will welcome the introduction of autonomous vehicleson the roadways; 
  • Whether autonomous vehicles can continue to safely operate even if one or more components of the vehicle fails; and 
  • How safe autonomous vehicles will actually be, especially given that there were two deaths in 2018 related to autonomous vehicles (a driver died in a collision, and a pedestrian was struck and killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle).

As of today, 30 states have adopted laws regarding the operation of autonomous vehicles.  However, because many autonomous vehicles are still in the research and development phase, laws may need to change as each year passes and we learn more about how autonomous vehicles will work and be integrated with existing vehicles on our roads and highways.

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Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.