Nevada was the first state to authorize the operation of autonomous vehicles in 2011. Since then, 21 other states—Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont—and Washington D.C. have passed legislation related to autonomous vehicles. Governors in Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin have issued executive orders related to autonomous vehicles.
Florida’s legislation, passed in 2012, declared the legislative intent to encourage the safe development, testing and operation of motor vehicles with autonomous technology on public roads of the state and found that the state does not prohibit nor specifically regulate the testing or operation of autonomous technology in motor vehicles on public roads. Florida's 2016 legislation expands the allowed operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads and eliminates requirements related to the testing of autonomous vehicles and the presence of a driver in the vehicle.
Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order in late August 2015 directing various agencies to “undertake any necessary steps to support the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles on public roads within Arizona.” He also ordered the enabling of pilot programs at selected universities and developed rules to be followed by the programs. The order established a Self-Driving Vehicle Oversight Committee within the governor’s office. On March 1, 2018, Governor Ducey added to the 2015 executive order with Executive Order 2018-04. The order includes updates to keep pace with emerging technology, including advancements toward fully autonomous vehicles, as well as requiring all automated driving systems to be in compliance with all federal and state safety standards. In October of 2018, Governor Ducey signed Executive Order 2018-09, establishing an Institute of Automated Mobility in the state.
Delaware's Governor John Carney signed an executive order in September 2017 establishing the Advisory Council on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, tasked with developing recommendations for innovative tools and strategies that can be used to prepare Delaware’s transportation network for connected and autonomous vehicles.
Hawaii's Governor David Ige signed an executive order in November 2017 establishing a connected autonomous vehicles (CAV) contact in the governor's office and requires certain government agencies to work with companies to allow for self-driving vehicle testing in the state.
Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed Executive Order 2018-01 on January 2, 2018 to create the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment Committee to identify relevant state agencies to support the testing and deployment of autonomous and connected vehicles, discuss how best to administer the testing of autonomous and connected vehicles in relation to issues such as vehicle registration, licensing, insurance, traffic regulations, and vehicle owner or operator responsibilities and liabilities under current law, review existing state statutes and administrative rules and identify existing laws or rules that impede the testing and deployment of autonomous and connected vehicles on roads and identify strategic partnerships to leverage the social, economic, and environmental benefits of autonomous and connected vehicles. The committee must include two members of the Idaho Legislature, one appointed by the Speaker of the House and one appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 2018-13 on October 25, 2018. The Order directs the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)) to lead an "Autonomous Illinois" initiative to promote the development, testing and deployment of CAV technologies and related infrastrcuture and data needs within Illinois. The Order also establishes the Autonomous Illinois Testing Program, which IDOT will administer. The Program will facilitate legal testing and programs on public roads or highways in Illinois, where a licensed driver remains behind the wheel and able to take control of the vehicle at all times. IDOT will collect and maintain up-to-date information on the CAV landscape in Illinois. IDOT must create a registration system for entities wishing to conduct safe pilots or tests of CAV.
Maine Governor Paul LePage signed Executive Order 2018-001 on January 17, 2018, creating the Maine Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV) Advisory Committee to oversee the beneficial introduction to Maine of Highly Automated Vehicle technologies, and assessing, developing and implementing recommendations regarding potential Pilot Projects initiated to advance these technologies. The committee shall evaluate and make recommendations regarding proposed HAV Pilot Projects and require interested parties to contact the committee and apply for a permit prior to operating pilot vehicles on public roadways in Maine.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order in October 2016, “To Promote the Testing and Deployment of Highly Automated Driving Technologies.” The order created a working group on AVs and the group is expected to work with experts on vehicle safety and automation, work with members of the legislature on proposed legislation, and support agreements that AV companies will enter with the state DOT, municipalities and state agencies.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued Executive Order 18-04 on March 5, 2018, establishing a Governor's Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles to study, assess, and prepare for the transformation and opportunities associated with the widespread adoption of automated and connected vehicles. The advisory council must include one member from each party from each legislative chamber.
Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Executive Order 2018-01K on January 18, 2018. The order created DriveOhio to, in part, "bring together those who are responsible for building infrastructure in Ohio with those who are developing the advanced mobility technologies needed to allow our transportation system to reach its full potential by reducing serious and fatal crashes and improving traffic flow." Ohio Governor Kasich signed Executive Order 2018-O4K in May of 2018, allowing autonomous vehicles testing and pilot programs in the state. In order to do so, companies must register with DriveOhio (created by the January 2018 EO) and submit information on their companies, intended areas and conditions to test in and other requirements. Autonomous vehicles tested in the state must have a designated operator, although they are not required to be inside the vehicle.
Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order in June 2017 to address autonomous vehicle testing and establish an autonomous vehicle workgroup. The order requires that state agencies with pertinent regulator jurisdiction “support the safe testing and operation of autonomous vehicles on Washington’s public roads.” It establishes an interagency workgroup and enables pilot programs throughout the state. The order specifies certain requirements for vehicles operated with human operators present in the vehicle and for vehicles operated without human operators in the vehicle.
Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker signed an executive order in May 2017 creating the Governor’s Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment. The committee is tasked with advising the governor “on how best to advance the testing and operation of autonomous and connected vehicles in the State of Wisconsin.” The order specifies the members of the committee, including six legislators from the state. The duties of the committee include identifying all agencies in the state with jurisdiction over testing and deployment of the vehicles, coordinating with the agencies to address concerns related to issues such as “vehicle registration, licensing, insurance, traffic regulations, equipment standards, and vehicle owner or operator responsibilities and liabilities under current law,” and reviewing current state laws and regulations that may impede testing and deployment, along with other tasks. The state department of transportation is required to submit a final report to the governor by June 30, 2018.