April 17, 2018

CT greenlights program testing driverless vehicles

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Ridesharing company Uber is testing its autonomous vehicles (shown above) in several states.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday announced the launch of a pilot program that allows Connecticut manufacturers and fleet service providers to test self-driving vehicles on public roadways.

Public Act 17-69 allows testing of driverless vehicles in up to four municipalities, as Connecticut looks to keep pace with other states in early stage adoption of autonomous vehicle technology.

The governor signed the legislation in June 2017 after it was adopted in both chambers with bipartisan support.

Under the program, municipalities interested in participating are required to submit an application to the state to allow the autonomous vehicles on their roadways.

The program is administered by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), with assistance from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Connecticut Insurance Department.

The law includes strict standards on testing at limited and controlled testing areas and municipalities will be required to enter into agreements with autonomous vehicle testers.

Malloy said driverless vehicles are "the future of transportation" and the state wanted to take "proactive steps" to lead the development of this technology.

"We are showing this industry and those around the country that we promote the development of these kinds of forward-thinking, technology-driven products in Connecticut," he said. "We cannot allow our state to be outpaced as this technology grows."

Interested municipalities must apply to OPM on the agency's website.

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