Wyoming Lawmakers Working On Bill That Regulates Autonomous Vehicles

Dec 11, 2020

A Waymo self-driving car on the road in Mountain View.
Credit Grendelkhan

About 30 states already have regulatory frameworks set up to safely and efficiently introduce autonomous vehicles into the states. Now, state lawmakers are working to get Wyoming caught up.

Jesse Kirchmeier, Wyoming Department of Transportation's emergency response planner, said whether the state is ready or not, autonomous cars will be here soon.

"We did form a working group, volunteer group of folks who basically have the same goal in mind, which is to safely and efficiently integrate autonomous vehicles, no matter what the level they're at, into the roadway system as they start becoming more prevalent," said Kirchmeier.

The working group is looking at potential road infrastructure, how a car crash is investigated, among other unique subjects that self-driving cars bring about.

Kirchmeier said the biggest challenge for the department will be to make sure Wyomingites feel comfortable with self driving cars.

"We have to make sure that the population in the state is comfortable, the industry, folks that are involved are comfortable," he said. "And everyone knows as much as they can and can make an informed decision. So that's kind of one of the goals is to make sure that people are comfortable with the technology."

If the bill makes it to the full legislature and passes, WYDOT will begin working on establishing regulations.