Articles Tagged with Pennsylvania Law

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Pennsylvania is ramping up its continuing effort to become the “proving ground” for self-driving vehicles.  Earlier this month, Pennsylvania held its first Automated Vehicle Summit.  The event was held September 11-12 in State College.

Advocates of automated vehicles are hoping to make the roads safer by removing the human error element that leads to so many car accidents.  However, the process of proving to the world that these cars will indeed make the roadways safer is still in the works.  The most interesting question is whether there is a need to show that self-driving cars are as close to 100% safe as possible or whether it just needs to be shown that they are simply safer than human controlled vehicles.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards was the keynote speaker at the Summit.  Other officials from PennDOT, state police, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the state departments of Community & Economic Development and Labor & Industry were among those that also participated in the summit.

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For the last several years various companies have worked to make self-driving cars a reality. Google has been working on a self-driving car since 2009. Automaker Tesla has gone a step further, their “Autopilot” feature has been available on consumer vehicles since 2014. Tesla CEO Elon Musk estimates that by 2019 “Autopilot” will allow vehicles to drive people to their destinations safely while the driver sleeps.

This sudden growth in self-driving car technology raises questions about safety, and many states, including Pennsylvania, have been working on laws to deal with the issue. The Pennsylvania legislature has been working on two bills that deal with self-driving cars.

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