New Law to Spur Autonomous Vehicle Testing on Florida Roads

A bill signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on June 13 aims to remove “unnecessary obstacles” hindering the development of autonomous vehicle technology – including allowing fully autonomous vehicles to operate on Florida’s roads “regardless of presence of human operator.”

The new law – CS/HB 311: Autonomous Vehicles – takes effect on July 1 and also authorizes the Florida Turnpike Enterprise, a division within the Florida Department of Transportation, to “enter into one or more agreements to fund, construct, and operate facilities for the advancement of autonomous and connected innovative transportation technologies for specified purposes.”

Photo by the Florida Governor’s Office

“Signing this legislation paves the way for Florida to continue as a national leader in transportation innovation and technological advancement,” said Gov. DeSantis in a statement, noting that it reaffirms the state’s “bold commitment” to lead a national “transition” to a “shared, electric, and driverless” transportation future.

“I applaud the Governor for his continued commitment to invest in emerging transportation technologies,” added Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault in a statement.

“Autonomous vehicles are the way of the future and Florida is leading the charge through the research, testing and development of autonomous vehicles,” he said. “And now with this bill signed into law by Governor DeSantis, Florida is ready to lead the nation with this innovative transportation advancement.”

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