Tennessee to allow driverless vehicles on public roads

If there was a way to prevent car accidents and reduce the risk of you or your loved ones getting into a crash, you'd want to take it. That's why some people are surprised that Tennessee isn't doing more to support innovation for driverless vehicles. With driverless cars getting closer to becoming a reality, it's been pointed out that Tennessee needs to make way for the new technology by allowing all types of innovation related to these vehicles.

This state is not without its flaws when it comes to traffic-related deaths. Tennessee has had a substantial number of deaths related to car accidents, with close to 1,000 in 2015. In 94 percent of the cases, the accidents were a direct result of things like drowsiness and drunken driving. Sadly, the number of crashes resulting in fatalities are climbing in the state.

As a result of the growing death toll, Tennessee's legislators have decided to pass an autonomous vehicle law that allows on-road testing. If this technology works as it's supposed to, it's been estimated that it could prevent up to 28 percent of motor vehicle accidents.

The new law creates limited regulations on driverless technology. The act, called the Safe Automatic Vehicle Act, or SAVe, prepared for and promotes driverless vehicles. It gives innovators a clear idea for how they can operate and test in public. One area in which this could be improved comes down to the limits on new innovation. The current laws only allow testing from existing auto manufacturers. As a result, Waymo, university testing and Uber have all been left out.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, "Tennessee needs to clear path for driverless cars," Adam Thierer, Jennifer Huddleston, Oct. 01, 2017

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