TRENTON — Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. has introduced legislation to position New Jersey as one of the first states to be a hub for autonomous vehicles.
“Centuries ago, people riding on a horse-drawn carriage would have never imagined that people can now push a button to start a car and press a pedal to make it drive 200 miles per hour,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It is hard to imagine cars driving us to work while we read the news, but there are significant technological advances being made toward that end, and New Jersey has a lot to gain from being at the forefront of such innovation.”
Kean’s legislation, S2898, charges the state Motor Vehicle Commission with establishing standards for licensing autonomous vehicles, or any operated by artificial intelligence, sensors, GPS systems or any other self-driving technologies. The commission would establish regulations authorizing the use of autonomous vehicles, and create rules covering safety, testing, insurance, registration and operation.
Kean added that autonomous vehicles can also offer a more sufficient and flexible avenue of transportation for the disabled and senior citizens who may not have access to public transportation or who may not be fit to drive.
“Just as with the development and implementation of trains and airplanes, we have to trust ingenuity and keep an open mind,” Kean said.
New Jersey would become the fourth U.S. state to adopt a law permitting autonomous vehicles and the first to do so in the densely populated Northeast Region.
“This legislation sends a strong message to innovators and job creators that New Jersey is not afraid of being the home to new thinking and the way of the future,” Kean concluded. “It is another avenue to continue economic growth in this state, while we continue to cut red tape; make record investments in schools for our next generation; and continue adding private-sector jobs each month.”
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