2015 Regular Session
To: Highways and Transportation
By: Senator(s) Polk, Moran, Jones, Parks, Harkins, Stone, Massey, Browning, Smith, Tindell, Wiggins, Montgomery, Hale, Younger, Doty, Chassaniol, Collins, Gandy, Butler (36th), Burton, Jolly
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF AN AUTONOMOUS MOTOR VEHICLE IN THIS STATE; TO DEFINE AUTONOMOUS TECHNOLOGY AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES; TO PROVIDE FOR THE SAFETY AND CONTROL OF AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE; TO PROVIDE FOR ENDORSEMENT ON DRIVER'S LICENSE TO OPERATE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this chapter:
(a) "Autonomous technology" means technology which is installed on a motor vehicle and which has the capability to drive the motor vehicle without the active control or monitoring of a human operator. The term does not include an active safety system or a system for driver assistance, including, without limitation, a system to provide electronic blind spot detection, crash avoidance, emergency braking, parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, lane departure warning, or traffic jam and queuing assistance, unless any such system, alone or in combination with any other system, enables the vehicle on which the system is installed to be driven without the active control or monitoring of a human operator.
(b) "Autonomous vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is equipped with autonomous technology.
(c) "Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way dedicated to a public authority when any part of the way is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic, whether or not the public authority is maintaining the way.
SECTION 2. If an autonomous vehicle is driven on a highway within the state, a human operator must be:
(a) Seated in a position which allows the human operator to take immediate manual control of the autonomous vehicle;
(b) Monitoring the safe operation of the autonomous vehicle; and
(c) Capable of taking over immediate manual control of the autonomous vehicle in the event of a failure of the autonomous technology or other emergency.
SECTION 3. (1) An autonomous vehicle shall not be registered in this state unless the autonomous vehicle meets all federal standards and regulations that are applicable to a motor vehicle.
(2) An autonomous vehicle shall not be tested or operated on a highway within this state unless the autonomous vehicle is:
(a) Equipped with a means to engage and disengage the autonomous technology which is easily accessible to the human operator of the autonomous vehicle;
(b) Equipped with a visual indicator located inside the autonomous vehicle which indicates when autonomous technology is operating the autonomous vehicle;
(c) Equipped with a means to alert the human operator to take manual control of the autonomous vehicle if a failure of the autonomous technology has been detected and such failure affects the ability of the autonomous technology to operate safely the autonomous vehicle; and
(d) Capable of being operated in compliance with the applicable motor vehicle laws and traffic laws of this state.
SECTION 4. The Department of Public Safety shall by regulation establish a driver's license endorsement for the operation of an autonomous vehicle on the highways of this state. The driver's license endorsement described in this section must recognize the fact that a person is not required to actively drive an autonomous vehicle.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2015.