In December, Uber deployed its self-driving cars in San Francisco but California regulators didn’t feel it was such a good idea. In Florida, state Senator Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, saw this as an opening for their state. He tweeted to Uber that unlike California, Florida welcomes driverless cars and no permit is needed.
Florida continues to lead the nation in transportation innovation, with some of the most forward thinking… https://t.co/yCXTmZ4YB6
— Jeff Brandes (@JeffreyBrandes) December 28, 2016
Brandes has been advocating for laws allowing driverless cars. He’s correct when he said that Florida does not require permits to operate or test driverless cars. However, this doesn’t mean people could expect to ride an automated vehicle soon per politifact.com.
Car Laws on Driverless Cars
Some car companies are developing totally autonomous or self-driving cars. These are operated by computers and being tested in some states. But it may take several years before they become publicly available due to pricing, issues on liability and the technology and the government officials grappling with oversight.
Back in September 2016, federal transportation officials issued loose guidelines for driverless cars that gave companies the go signal to push through with it. The rules had safety standards and called for states to come up with uniform policies.
Stricter Laws in California Than Florida
Unfortunately, the law happens to be more strict in California than it is in Florida. California already passed a law back in 2012 allowing the testing of autonomous cars on public roads. The companies have to apply for state permits and comply with a $5 million bond. Around 20 companies that included Tesla, Mercedes-Benz and Google, have been granted with permits.
In December 2016, California revoked the registration of 16 cars of Uber due to the lack of required permits. Uber complied although it argued it didn’t need any permit since the vehicles required monitoring by a person inside the car.
Right now, Uber only operates self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh, but they still have a person in the driver’s seat, according to Javi Correoso,
Uber spokesperson for Florida. Uber moved its San Francisco cars to Arizona. However, its operation has not started yet.
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