Andrew Dalton
Artificial Intelligence

A Law Passed in 1971 Could Bar Self-Driving Cars From New York State

Drivers have to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel while driving. At all times.

Jelor GallegoJune 2nd 2016

As the swift development of automated vehicles continues, with several self-driving features already available to consumers, laws that govern this new technology are struggling to keep up. One such law might even act as a legal roadblock for autonomous vehicles in the near future.

A New York Daily News report reveals that, according to a 45-year-old law, New York State is the only state in the U.S. that requires drivers to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel while driving. Therefore, anyone using a self-driving car would be in violation of this law.

Not only will this law prohibit testing and development of automated vehicles in New York, but police could ticket drivers for using vehicle features that are already available, such as assisted parking or Tesla’s Autopilot.

Due to these concerns, state officials are working to get the law changed. Leading this group is New York Senate Transportation Committee Chairman, Joseph Robach, who has introduced legislation that exempts motorists using “driving technology” from the one-hand-on-the-wheel requirement.

However, there are still fears as to the maturity of this autonomous technology, and it continues to face opposition in the state legislature.

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