by Timothy Montales
Self-driving cars have been introduced on the streets of Texas, yet no legislation had directly permitted nor banned the vehicles. The situation, however, is clearer after this week as Greg Abbott, State Governor, inked a bill that clearly permits driverless vehicles as long as they satisfy certain conditions.
All self-driving cars must obey traffic laws and carry insurance, while they also having to record video, according to the bill. In addition, the manufacturer will be liable as long as the self-driving tech remains unmodified.
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However, the bill has been criticised in some circles. There is no clear condition, for example, that a human operator must be present in the vehicle when it is operated, and groups such as AAA want a higher minimum insurance coverage than is present with conventional cars, as stated in an Engadget article.
Regardless, a new law, could have a significant impact on the vehicles’ uptake. Testing in Texas is under way with numerous tech giants having offices in the state (particularly in the Austin area) and its warm climate being a good testing ground for vehicles that are not yet proven at traversing snowy roads.
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