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New Hampshire bills sets conditions for driverless cars

The thought of driverless cars hitting the roads is something that many people are worried about. Even though drivers already use tools like cruise control, a fully autonomous vehicle is still a frightening prospect. For drivers in New Hampshire, there is a chance that automated vehicles will take the roads by January of 2019.

The ability of driverless cars to drive in this state is the subject of House Bill 314, which is still a proposed bill. It would require anyone who wants to operate a self-driving vehicle in the state to pay a $500 licensing fee to the state. It would also require $10 million of insurance that would help cover the costs of injury or property damage if a crash is caused by one of these vehicles.

The process also has steps in which the applicant would have to show that there have already been controlled tests that simulate the driving conditions in the state. The Department of Transportation would have to be told about the dates and areas where the cars will be used.

You likely won't have to worry about seeing these vehicles on the interstate. Operating a driverless car on a federal roadway requires federal permits.

It is important to note that people operating driverless cars will still have to make sure that they are driving safely. This means that the operator can't go out drinking for the night and then tell the vehicle to take them home. There is a potential that this could lead to a drunk driving charge, depending on how laws are interpreted in relation to these vehicles.

One man in Florida was killed in a crash when he ignored warnings to return his hands to the steering wheel of the Tesla he was driving. This is one reason why stringent laws are crucial before any self-driving level four vehicle is allowed on the streets of this state.

Source: Valley News, "N.H. Bill Sets Rules For Driverless Cars," Ethan DeWitt, Oct. 13, 2017

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