Arkansas Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Testing of Self-Driving Cars

March 14, 2019

The Arkansas Legislature has approved a bill that allows pilot programs to test fully autonomous vehicles on state roads.

The measure will let organizations submit operation and safety plans for up to three autonomous vehicles which would be able to operate on Arkansas roads.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Mathew Pitsch of Fort Smith, says operation and safety plans first have to be approved by the state Department of Transportation and law enforcement authorities before autonomous vehicles can be tested. Pitsch says he’s not sure when self-driving cars would be on the roads.

The bill, which was approved 27-5, explicitly states autonomous vehicles must be fully capable of driving and reacting as a human driver would.

A spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he would sign the bill.

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