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Driverless Car Bill in Idaho Passes the Senate by Just One Vote Amid Concerns Over Liability, Insurance

Idaho DOT press release

To authorize the testing of driverless cars on Idaho highways, has passed the Senate on a razor-thin 18-17 margin, and now moves to the House side. “I believe this legislation strikes a balance between protecting public safety and encouraging innovation,” said Senate Transportation Chairman Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, the bill’s sponsor.

The “test driver” in the car would have to be at least 18 years old and have a driver’s license, and must be capable of taking over operation of the vehicle should the driverless system fail. All highways would be open to testing the driverless vehicles, unless they’re specifically closed to it by the state or any local political subdivision.

Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, urged support for the bill. “I don’t want Idaho to be left in the dust on this issue,” he said. Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, agreed. “This technology is not that far off in the future,” he said. “I remember watching the Jetsons … when I was a little boy and thinking I would never see any of this stuff.” Nonini said he’s proud to see “Idaho take the lead in this.”

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