AV industry needs teleoperation laws

Vehicle teleoperation has never been so … legal.

Teleoperation enables a human operator to control vehicles from far away. In July, Florida became the sixth state to explicitly allow autonomous vehicle companies to use remote operators. The legislation means that the next time you’re driving down a Florida road, there’s a chance the car behind you won’t have a driver in it. At all.

A number of states and countries have either legalized teleoperation or mandated it. Outside the U.S., laws mandating teleoperation exist in Ontario, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands and England. In the U.S., Arizona, California, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and now Florida have all mandated teleoperation. Other states such as Georgia, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina and Tennessee have laws allowing the use of teleoperation, although they do not mandate it specifically.

Florida’s legalization of teleoperation is a show of maturity on behalf of both legislators and the AV industry, and we expect to see more jurisdictions adopting similar measures going forward. Legislation has been lagging AV technology, but it’s starting to catch up.