Florida enacts law allowing human-free autonomous vehicles

The law goes into effect July 1.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law on Thursday new regulations that allow autonomous vehicles to operate on the state's roads without a backup human driver. The law officially goes into effect on July 1.

"Signing this legislation paves the way for Florida to continue as a national leader in transportation innovation and technological advancement,” said Governor DeSantis. "I would like to thank the bill sponsors, Senator Jeff Brandes and Representative Jason Fischer, for their work in making Florida the most autonomous vehicle-friendly state in the country.”

The law also states that passengers in autonomous vehicles will be exempt from rules relating to distracted driving. That means passengers in autonomous vehicles operating in Florida will be free to text, watch movies or even sleep.

Autonomous vehicles and their operators will have to meet some minimum standards, however. Each autonomous vehicle will be required to carry $1 million in insurance coverage. Owners must also report any crashes immediately to police, or have a system in place for the vehicle to do so on its own.

Florida is the third state in the nation to allow human-free cars on its roads, the other two being Michigan and Texas.

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