Florida Lawmaker files bill (HB 311) backing autonomous vehicles

State Rep. Jason Fischer filed the first autonomous vehicle — aka self-driving car — legislation of the 2019 Legislative Session.

Submitted Thursday, the bill (HB 311) includes several provisions to get autonomous vehicles, or AVs, rolling on Florida roadways — even if there isn’t a person in a passenger seat.

It defines many terms in the statute, including “automated driving systems” and “fully autonomous vehicles.”

The former describing the hardware and software backbone of AVs and the latter being any vehicle equipped with such a system that is able to function without anybody on board. If an AV is involved in a crash, they would be exempt from certain laws so long as the car or a person contacts a law enforcement agency.

Additionally, Fischer’s bill would also open the door for an automated ride-sharing platform and allow The Florida Turnpike Enterprise to “fund, construct and operate test facilities” to study AV technology.