Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
Driverless cars are no longer a figment of Hollywood fiction.
As the technology advances toward the open market, one lawmaker in Pennsylvania is hoping to make sure the state is ready.
Rep. Jim Marshall, R-Beaver County, has introduced a bill that “addresses key issues including safety, insurance, accident reporting, registration and titling, without needlessly restricting testing and deployment of vehicles with fully self-driving safety features.”
House Bill 1637 would allow the operation of fully autonomous motor vehicles in the state so long as the vehicle is capable of operating within traffic and motor safety laws, bears the manufacturer’s certification that it is in compliance with federal safety laws and can achieve a “minimal risk condition” if a failure to the automated driving system occurs.
The bill defines minimal risk condition as a “mode in which a fully autonomous vehicle operating without a human driver achieves a reasonably safe state, such as bringing the vehicle to a complete stop, upon experiencing a failure of the vehicle’s automated driving system that renders the vehicle unable to perform the entire dynamic driving task.”
Marshall’s bill also allows for on-demand autonomous ride sharing vehicle systems.
Uber has recently begun testing a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles where users can hail and ride in multiple states.
Operators of autonomous vehicles would be required to register the vehicles, carry proper insurance and notify authorities of any crashes that occur, according to the bill.
The bill prevents local municipalities from banning the driverless vehicles.