Nevada could be the next state to legalize self-driving cars on public roads, if a draft bill from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is passed by the legislature.
The bill, titled AB69, looks to update the current driving and traffic laws, to allow driverless vehicles, drones, and shuttles onto the roads. It would let personal and commercial cars use the technology, opening the door for taxi and ridesharing firms.
Steve Hill, director of the economic development office, said the bill, if passed, will keep Nevada on the “cutting edge of the autonomous industry.” Early legalization could entice autonomous vehicle developers, like Google and Uber, to test in the state.
To start, Nevada would push the Department of Motor Vehicles and other regulators to adopt the new laws. From there, the state would push an extensive infrastructure campaign to fit roads and highways with wireless sensors, which communicate with the autonomous vehicles and relay data back to smart city planners.
Nevada law has moved quickly
Nevada has been one of several locations in the U.S. that has pushed progressive self-driving laws through the legislature, but most of the deregulation has focused on controlled tests. Opening the roads to autonomous cars is another step entirely.
It is not the first state to legalize self-driving cars though, that award goes to Michigan, which passed a bill legalizing level 4 autonomous vehicles on public roads. Arizona has also made significant moves, allowing Uber to test its autonomous taxis in the state.
The move to legalize self-driving cars does not necessarily mean we’re close to a fully driverless future. Some experts think it could be a decade before 25 percent of all cars on the road are autonomous, and that’s not including the possible disasters along the way.