Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill on June 13, 2019 that will drastically expand the testing and use of autonomous vehicles in Florida. This bill will remove unnecessary obstacles that hinder the development of autonomous vehicle technology and solidifies Florida’s position as a leading state for transportation innovation. CS/HB 311 is said to embrace the future of transportation by removing barriers to the advancement of autonomous vehicles and establishing a statewide statutory framework.

“Signing this legislation paves the way for Florida to continue as a national leader in transportation innovation and technological advancement,” said Governor DeSantis. “I would like to thank the bill sponsors, Senator Jeff Brandes and Representative Jason Fischer, for their work in making Florida the most autonomous vehicle-friendly state in the country.”

“Over the next 10 years we will see more innovation in the transportation industry than we have seen in the last 50 years,” said Senator Jeff Brandes. “Since 2011, Florida has been a national leader in self-driving transportation policy. With the signing of this legislation, we reaffirm our bold commitment to lead the country as we transition to a shared, electric and driverless future.”

“We here in Florida are pioneering the most exciting innovations in transportation,” said Representative Jason Fischer. “This bill on self-driving cars will usher in a new era of smart cities that will not only expand our economy but increase road safety and decrease traffic congestion.”

“I applaud the Governor for his continued commitment to invest in emerging transportation technologies,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault. “Autonomous vehicles are the way of the future and Florida is leading the charge through the research, testing, and development of autonomous vehicles. And now with this bill signed into law by Governor DeSantis, Florida is ready to lead the nation with this innovative transportation advancement.”

The bill signing took place at the SunTrax facility in Polk County, Florida, which is a national center for the research and development of advanced mobility solutions. The June event celebrated the completion of Phase One of this facility with the finish of America’s newest autonomous vehicle test track. SunTrax will be the only high-speed autonomous vehicle testing facility in the southeastern United States. This innovative partnership between the Florida Turnpike Enterprise and the Florida Department of Transportation puts Florida on the leading edge of the development of new transportation technologies.

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