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Study: How States Should Update Traffic Laws for Autonomous Cars

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U.S. states should require that all automated cars have a licensed driver on board, suggests a study by the Governors Highway Safety Assn.

The Washington, D.C.-based group points out that, even as cars become more autonomous, humans still will be expected to take control of them under certain circumstances for “many decades.”

The 36-page GHSA report, which was funded by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., recommends that states update their licensing and registration processes to identify vehicles with semi- or fully autonomous capabilities.

The analysis also suggests states that haven’t already done so should pass laws that authorize highly automated vehicles. New rules also are needed to establish the legal responsibilities for such vehicles.

States should update their traffic laws to accommodate a mix of robotic and human-guided vehicles, according to the report. It says states should set new law enforcement policies and procedures to help police and emergency vehicle operators identify and communicate with self-driving vehicles on the road.

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