Arizona Gov. Ducey Touts Stricter Rules For Driverless Cars

Published: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 9:00am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is laying out some new - and stricter - rules for driverless vehicles.

The governor will now require companies to comply with standards adopted last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Ducey's order says those who want to operate autonomous vehicles in Arizona must, from this point forward, comply with those voluntary standards.

But the order also contains additional safety requirements, such as cars must be programmed to go into a "minimal risk condition'' if there is a problem. That could mean pulling over to the side of the road and shutting down.

Vehicles will also be required to understand some of the same things expected of human drivers, like pulling over when an emergency vehicle is approaching.

“We don't want Joe's Driverless Car Company to be putting some jalopy with bad technology on the road that doesn't fit the federal standards," said Daniel Scarpinato, Ducey’s spokesman.

The governor first allowed driverless vehicles to be tested in Arizona in 2015 with minimal state oversight and regulation.

That policy paid off the following year when Uber moved some of its test vehicles here from California.

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