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States Gear Up for Autonomous Cars

As California begins to establish and adopt a whole new series of regulations limiting the overall testing of self-driving cars, leaders in other several other states seem rather eager to jump in and seize a piece of the autonomous testing and development market.

At Carty's Collision Center, Inc., we love the concept of self-driving cars , and hopefully soon we will see a lot of them in Ontario and throughout CA.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe most recently claimed he would make his state the “capital of the self-drivers,” and the state’s Transportation Director Aubrey Layme offered incentives to any company that was willing to launch a pilot program on Virginia's highways. Meanwhile Arizona Governor Doug Ducey was delighted when Google’s Waymo picked up passengers in self-driving SUVs in earlier this year,  just a few months after Uber’s Otto subsidiary sent a self-driving  tractor trailer loaded with domestic beer on a 120-mile journey that started in Fort Collins and ended in Colorado Springs.

So it appears as though other states are excited about the future autonomous vehicles, and that is why they are eager to compete with California. They want to create jobs and bring attention to themselves, and it totally makes sense. Think about it--any elected official trying to get re-elected needs media coverage, and AV testing pilot programs can provide that for governors and senators all over the country.

Look at the numbers: Colorado’s robot beer delivery went viral. If you search for “Colorado Uber Autonomous Truck” on Google , you will find approximately 3,000 different news stories.

So how should a governor or senator or even congressman think about their state’s autonomous vehicles policy? Should they simply sit back and let other states be the first to gobble up much-needed jobs and revenue? It's puzzling that some states are clamoring to be involved in some capacity while others could care less about becoming a hub for transportation research, testing and development.

Politicians and industry leaders in Texas and Michigan, for example,  already have an enormous transportation industry in place. So these two states specifically could easily justify the pursuit of AV technology as a smart strategy to further economic development. They would be wise to support local research on AV technology, as Michigan has done with MCity, a self-driving technology testing course in Ann Arbor. The state has an advantage because it is also the home of the highly-respected University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, that helps companies with their pilot AV technologies at a site with cutting-edge technology they can share, increasing the likelihood that university-based research will give a major boost to start-ups that can develop their AV products in Michigan.

Sources: Google News, USA Today and MSN

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