Georgia won’t rush into self-driving car market

Georgia drivers will have to keep their eyes on the road, their hands upon the wheel for the foreseeable future.

A legislative panel studying the future of self-driving cars has concluded that the state must first improve its business climate and develop a skilled workforce before allowing driverless vehicles on its roads.

Yet, state Rep. Trey Kelley, a Cedartown Republican and chairman of the Autonomous Vehicle Technology Study Committee, said he came away from the process encouraged.

“Each of us had the opportunity to learn more about this exciting technology and the benefits it could offer our state,” Kelley said. “I’m confident that with Georgia’s excellent business climate, research institutions, and record for success in the tech industry that as autonomous vehicle technology develops Georgia will be in a position to capitalize on this economic development opportunity.”

The committee’s final report says Georgia should proceed with caution and not follow other states that have adopted new regulations on technology that isn’t yet fully developed.

“To best promote the development of autonomous vehicle technology states should allow the market to further mature and grow without government intervention. Just as features such as cruise control and anti-braking systems were implemented as the market demanded them, so too can automobile technology continue to improve to the point of driverless cars,” the report says.

In the meantime, it says, improving Georgia’s business climate and producing workers adept in science and technology will “show the developers of autonomous vehicle technology that Georgia should be their destination for future development.”

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