(WHNT) – The future of self-driving vehicles is becoming more clear as a new Alabama Senate bill would legalize the use of automatic driving systems (ADS) on public roads, even if a human driver is not present.

Senate Bill 311 (SB 311) introduced to the Senate on May 11 by Senator Gerald H. Allen calls for motor vehicles equipped with ADS to be allowed to operate on public roads.

An ADS is defined in SB 311 as hardware and software that can perform the entire dynamic driving task on a sustained basis.

Dynamic driving task means that the vehicle must be able to perform essential driving tasks such as braking, yielding and other on-road traffic duties. However, the vehicle would not be required to have trip scheduling.

Under the bill, these vehicles would be required to follow all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Owners would have to follow all state laws regarding registration and having the vehicle’s title.

The bill states that ADS-equipped vehicles would not require a human driver present as long as the vehicle is capable of achieving a minimal-risk condition.

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Liability for accidents that involve ADS-equipped vehicles will be determined by state law but the original manufacturers of a vehicle that has been converted to an ADS-equipped vehicle may not be held liable.

Click here to read the full SB 311

SB 311 will have a lengthy process through the Alabama Senate before it would be sent to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk to be signed into law.

News 19 will continue to track that bill and provide updates if it becomes law.

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