Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Nevada displayed its dedication to refining autonomous vehicles, with the passage of and signing of Assembly Bill 69, industry officials said.
AB69 strengthens the state’s efforts in policy, as well as the research and development of fully autonomous vehicles. Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the bill into law on Friday, after it passed the Legislature with industry support from various automotive groups including General Motors, the Self-Driving Coalition — including Waymo, Uber, Lyft, Ford and Volvo — and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
“AB69 is an important step forward for self-driving in Nevada,” said David Strickland, general counsel for the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. “We applaud Gov. Sandoval and state lawmakers for enacting this crucial legislation, which will update existing statutes to permit the testing and commercial public deployment of fully self-driving vehicles while also supporting innovation and promoting competition."
The legislation allows for testing and operations of fully autonomous vehicles; simplifies and clarifies the legal authority for entities testing or operating autonomous vehicles in Nevada; authorizes commercial use of fully autonomous vehicles; authorizes testing and operations of driver-assistive platooning technologies.
Sandoval said that AB69 will help ensure that Nevada is the leader in the future of fully autonomous vehicles. “With safety at the forefront, we have created the opportunity for innovative companies to not only test and operate their autonomous vehicles in our state, but also to conduct the research and development, in partnership with our universities, that will move driverless technology from exciting concept to reality,” Sandoval said.
Testing for the first completely autonomous, fully electric shuttle to ever be deployed on a public roadway in the U.S. took place in downtown Las Vegas in January.
Arma, the driverless vehicle developed by the Paris-based company Navya, made trips down Fremont Street for just over a week. The vehicle held a dozen passengers and operates at up to 27 miles per hour. During the test run, the shuttle was limited to 12 mph.
Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said the signing of AB69 showed the governor's push toward technology and the industry developments within it.
“In working closely with industry, this legislation was crafted to ensure safety is and would remain the paramount focus in fostering the driverless industry.” Hill said. “Through that, Nevada is quite simply the place to be for testing and deploying this exciting, safety-enhancing technology.”