Virtually every automotive manufacturer is investing heavily in autonomous vehicles. Right now, most driver assist technology falls into level 2/3 of the SAE J3016 levels of driving automation, this still requires a human to be responsible for the vehicle.
Some vehicle producers are moving incrementally through level 4 that works in which the vehicle can drive itself under controlled conditions, while some are opting to jump straight to 5 – full autonomy, that doesn’t require human intervention.
A new law in Florida was passed this week, signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, that will allow self-driving cars on all roads as long as vehicles meet safety and insurance requirements.
While there’s a race between auto makers to build the first driverless vehicle, most companies are not seeing the technology as the limiting factor, instead the regulations are often the prohibitor.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wants companies testing the vehicles to move to Florida. This is really smart, really progressive from Florida and Australian states should also be working on legislation now to sort out what our benchmarks are for vehicles to meet and enable fully autonomous vehicles to drive on our Australian roads.
The world will watch with interest how this new law plays out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the likes of Tesla, Google, Uber and many others head to Florida to further prove to the world their vehicles are safer than humans.
The industry leader on Autonomy is Tesla and at their recent Autonomous Day event for investors, CEO Elon Musk explained that they already have the hardware required to deliver driverless vehicles in all new Model 3, Model S and Model Y vehicles and expect that by the end of 2019 the AI-powered software will be complete. Musk also pointed to regulatory approval may be possible in 2020, so it looks like this law accelerates that trajectory.