Our Favorite State Legislative Research Resources (And a Primer on CA AV Legislation)

When we first set about educating ourselves about current legislation and regulations, we found a couple of sites that were incredibly helpful.

Perhaps the most powerful is AUVSI’s Legislative Map, indicating current legislation at the state level dealing with unmanned systems as a whole. The site conveniently allows users to break down the legislation by state and then by topic area, including “Autonomous Vehicle Legislation.”

If you click down into California and look subarea, you’ll notice SB59 – sponsored by State Senator Ben Allen (@BenAllenCA) – and SB336 are of particular interest. (For web development wonks out there, this is a Single Page Application which unfortunately hasn’t implemented URL routing, so we can’t paste a direct link.) We’ll talk more about these bills in an upcoming post, but SB59 would establish an advisory committee, while SB336 would assure that AV test vehicles always have a driver in the car who can take over until at least 2025.

Very similar is the National Conference of State Legislature’s Autonomous Vehicles State Bill Tracking Center. Simply choose “California” to see the exact same information. This site also has the advantage of easily switching to previous years, though a perusal of those years arguably shows that this year’s bills are still the most impactful.

Finally, for a simple list of current state legislation, we found AutoInsurance.org to have a nicely prepared set list on their page entitled “Which States Currently Allow Self-Driving Cars?” They claim to update their findings continuously, though they were last updated in October of 2018. Most current legislation listed for California deals with allowing testing in certain places, but one – SB1 in 2017 – contained the following text concerning the California Department of Transportation:

To the extent possible and cost effective, and where feasible, the department and cities and counties receiving funds under the program shall use advanced technologies and communications systems in transportation infrastructure that recognize and accommodate advanced automotive technologies that may include, but are not necessarily limited to, charging or fueling opportunities for zero-emission vehicles, and provision of infrastructure-to-vehicle communications for transitional or full autonomous vehicle systems. (emphasis ours)

CA Senate Bill 1, 2017

Could these resources be used to help fund Dedicated Autonomous Lanes in California?

Stay tuned for more information on this, how California compares to other states when it comes to autonomous legislation, federal efforts, and more analyses on SB59 and SB336.

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