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New Florida law lets autonomous vehicles drive without humans

Gov. DeSantis signed the measure Thursday at a test track for autonomous vehicles in Auburndale.
A Google self-driving car travels eastbound on San Antonio Road in Mountain View, Calif., on Oct. 22, 2015. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group/TNS)
A Google self-driving car travels eastbound on San Antonio Road in Mountain View, Calif., on Oct. 22, 2015. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group/TNS)
Published Jun. 13, 2019

TALLAHASSEE — Self-driving vehicles will be able to operate in Florida without a human on board under a bill signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis signed the measure Thursday at a test track for autonomous vehicles in Auburndale. The governor says he wants companies testing the vehicles to move to Florida.

The new law takes effect July 1. It will allow self-driving cars without humans on all roads as long as the vehicles meet insurance and safety requirements outlined in the new legislation.

Current law allows self-driving vehicles if a person is in the car as backup. The new law also exempts operators inside self-driving cars from laws that ban texting while driving and other potentially distracting activities.

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