Whether you call them self-driving, driverless, automated, or autonomous, these vehicles are on the move. Recent announcements by Google (which drove over 500,000 miles on its original prototype vehicles) and other major automakers indicate the potential for development in this area. Driverless cars are often discussed as “disruptive technology” with the ability to transform transportation infrastructure, expand access, and deliver benefits to a variety of users. Some observers estimate limited availability of driverless cars by 2020, with wide availability to the public by 2040. This Article includes examination of the current status of this technology, and the implications for road safety, capacity, travel behavior, and cost. This Article also considers the regulatory framework and policy challenges this technology may face. In particular, this Article presents a Minnesota perspective. As the Minnesota Department of Transportation implements the Twenty-Year Minnesota State Highway Investment Plan and establishes priorities for the next several decades, state officials need information about the potential for this technology to transform Minnesota’s transportation system. The Metropolitan Council also needs to pay serious attention, as self-driving cars can potentially change the way we live and travel within the Council’s planning horizon. Additionally, Minnesota policymakers will need to consider whether current policy accommodates the deployment of this driverless technology. Finally, this Article summarizes the current consensus about self-driving vehicles, considers the implications for Minnesota, and suggests steps that policymakers in Minnesota can take to prepare for such technology.
Lari, Adeel; Douma, Frank; Onyiah, Ify.
Self-Driving Vehicles and Policy Implications: Current Status of Autonomous Vehicle Development and Minnesota Policy Implications.
Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology.
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