10 May 2019

Florida Flirts With Driverless Cars

Uber is very happy with the prospect of employee-free cars.
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Florida could soon become the first US state to fully legalise self-driving cars, with a bill allowing just that through both houses of the Florida Legislature.

Florida could soon become the first US state to fully legalise self-driving cars, with a bill allowing just that through both houses of the Florida Legislature.

Sure, so far in America there have been plenty of self-driving vehicles plying roadways as car makers and tech companies try out their latest developments, but the relevant legislation in Florida would allow those car makers and tech companies to set their creations free, so to speak.

If passed, autonomous cars would be driving around Florida without anybody inside—no passengers, no drivers and no developers on board to take over if something went wrong.

It’s now up to Florida’s Governor to sign the bill into law—and ridesharing company Uber is already salivating at the ramifications of driverless cars.

Uber’s senior policy manager Stephanie Smith said that the bill would make Florida a leader in self-driving tech.

"This measure provides direction on the roles of state and local government and authorization for the deployment of automated vehicles on a ridesharing network,” said Smith as quoted by Miami New Times.

“These provisions establish a clear pathway to bring the benefits of automation to our state."

In Florida travellers who use ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft would be able to hail a ride and then avoid having to make small talk with the driver—truly making rideshare the self checkout of transportation.

If the legislation is passed, all Uber would have to do would be to get its hands on some vehicles that can actually drive by themselves—technology that still is not quite there yet.

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