Rep. Jeff Brandes’ bill to pave way for self-driving vehicle testing in Florida

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The Transportation & Highway Safety Subcommittee passed HB 1207 Autonomous Vehicle Technology by State Representative Jeff Brandes. The bill, which provides the mechanism to regulate autonomous vehicle technology, puts Florida law ahead of the technology curve, allowing for the safe testing and operation of self-driving vehicles in Florida.

“I am thankful for the support of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for the passage of this bill. This legislation is about vision and leadership for the 21st Century world and forges a path for future innovative economic opportunities for Floridians,” stated Representative Brandes.

Over 2,300 people are killed every year in Florida traffic. Studies have shown autonomous technology may significantly reduce that number. Additionally, this technology has the capacity to cut auto energy consumption, increase highway capacity, and possibly reduce overall car usage through more innovative car sharing.

“We must continue to look for ways to improve roadway safety and transportation in a world of limited resources. Autonomous vehicle technology can improve people’s lives by making driving safer, more enjoyable and more efficient.” continued Representative Brandes.

Representative Brandes will hold a press conference on Thursday, January 26 at 4 p.m. located in the lower level of Waller Park facing the Knott Building for a continued discussion of HB 1207 and provide a demonstration of a self-driving vehicle. All interested media are welcome to attend.

HB 1207 will be heard next by the Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.