Self-driving car laws at a glance

You might have read quite a few stories about driverless cars in the media. Cars like the Tesla’s Model S which can drive itself in ‘autopilot’ mode on highways offer a glimpse of what’s to come. We’re still not there yet, but the technology is developing fast. So fast that in many parts of the world the status of legal cars hits a gray area.

Since the beginning of 2012, 17 states and the District of Columbia have debated legislation regarding authorizing self-driving cars on their roads. However, only California, Florida, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. have actually enacted any such laws.

However, that doesn’t mean that cars with automated features or even fully self-driven are illegal. For instance, most states’ laws require a human being ‘operating’ a vehicle. It’s in the specifics like which tasks have to be operated by the human, and which can be taken over by the vehicle itself that things stop being clear. That’s because these laws were written in a time when a car driving itself was deemed preposterous. Using loopholes, Google managed to log millions of miles with its self-driving cars on California’s roads.

Soon, policy and laws will change to meet the rapidly evolving future. Until then, here’s where self-driving cars stand in this quick infographic.


Infographic source

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