(MADISON)—State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) is proposing legislation that would permit the testing of driverless vehicles on Wisconsin roads. Currently, no state law explicitly permits the operation of driverless vehicles in Wisconsin. This bill will welcome companies that test driverless vehicles to operate in the state and further advance this technology.
Driverless vehicles operate by a system of computers, sensors and cameras and can be activated much like a cruise control feature. They have the potential to revolutionize automobile travel by correcting for human error and reducing traffic jams and accidents.
“Driverless cars will provide options for those who otherwise have difficulty getting around. They could also improve driver safety. In the near future, we may be able to program our destination into our car and arrive safely without ever turning the steering wheel,” said Risser.
Under Risser’s proposal, Wisconsin would be the first state in the mid-west to permit the testing of driverless vehicles—an important step in the technology’s development as operating challenges created by sleet and snow have not yet been resolved.
“This is about automobile innovation and driver safety,” Risser stated, “The future of automobile transportation is already being advanced in three other states, and I believe that developing this technology is in line with Wisconsin’s forward-thinking ideals. Passage of this legislation would build a connection to future automobile production and design in our state.”
California, Nevada, and Florida have passed similar legislation with bipartisan support and it is expected that more states will follow suit. Risser’s bill is being circulated for co-sponsorship.