The Future is Now

(April 4) – The House gave final approval with a 58-6 vote this morning to a bill by Reps. Faith Winter and Jeff Bridges that would make Colorado one of the first states in the nation to pass a driverless car bill.

“We know the automation revolution is coming,” said Rep. Bridges. “It is our job as elected officials to figure out how to make sure we have a strong Colorado economy and safety on our roads. This bill lays the foundation to ensure we bring jobs and innovation to our state while protecting public safety.”

“This is a law that sets a framework to encourage innovation in a growing field,” said Rep. Winter. “And this bill is particularly important because last year 605 people died on Colorado highways. There were over two million crashes and 90 percent of those were from human error. Autonomous vehicles can’t drive drunk, they can’t drive distracted, and they can’t drive when they’re tired.”

SB17-213 recognizes and defines autonomous vehicles in statute and declares that autonomous vehicles must follow the same laws as every other car on the road. It also gives clear authority to the

Colorado Department of Transportation and State Patrol to authorize testing to ensure autonomous vehicles can follow all state and federal laws.

Studies show that autonomous vehicles have the potential to decrease traffic and increase safety. They also promise to provide new mobility options for elderly and disabled Coloradans and have the potential to increase capacity on Colorado roads.

The bill now heads back to the Senate for consideration of House amendments.

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