Automated Vehicles Are Probably Legal in the United States

This lengthy article offers a detailed consideration of whether autonomous vehicles, also known as self-driving or driverless vehicles, can be lawfully sold and used on public roads in the United States. The author offers a quick answer that, yes, computer control of a motor vehicle’s steering, braking, and accelerating (without concomitant human input) is probably legal. However, the longer answer is taken up by the remainder of the article, which covers the definition and concept of “driver;”the responsibility of vehicle owners for their vehicles; requirements for drivers to be licensed and to act prudently; vehicle safety and equipment requirements; states that expressly regulate automated vehicles, including Nevada, Florida, and California; and clarification at the state level of the legal status of automated driving. The author concludes that these issues can be used as a starting point for developing regulations and understanding the liability issues that may be related to these vehicles. One appendix summarizes the likelihood of state vehicle codes prohibiting automated vehicle platoons.


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01618135
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2016 11:08AM