Automated Vehicle Law & Issues

Full Version: HB 2970 (2018)
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Passed Legislature - 2018 Regular Session

State of Washington
65th Legislature
2018 Regular Session

By House Transportation (originally sponsored by Representatives Hudgins, Morris, Kloba, and Muri)


AN ACT Relating to the establishment of an autonomous vehicle
work group; adding a new section to chapter 47.01 RCW; creating a new
section; and providing an expiration date.


NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 47.01
RCW to read as follows:

The commission must convene an executive and legislative work
group to develop policy recommendations to address the operation of
autonomous vehicles on public roadways in the state, subject to the
availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose.

(1)(a)(i) Executive branch membership of the work group must
include, but is not limited to: The governor or his or her designee
or designees, the insurance commissioner or his or her designee or
designees, the director of the department of licensing or his or her
designee or designees, the secretary or his or her designee or
designees, the chief of the Washington state patrol or his or her
designee or designees, and the director of the traffic safety
commission or his or her designee or designees.

(ii) Executive branch membership of the work group may also
include: The assistant secretary of the department of social and
health services aging and long-term support administration or his or
her designee or designees and the deputy director of the department
of enterprise services who oversees fleet operations or his or her
designee or designees.

(b) The president of the senate shall appoint two interested
members from each of the two largest caucuses of the senate. The
speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint two interested
members from each of the two largest caucuses of the house of

© The commission may invite additional participation on an
ongoing, recurring, or one-time basis from individuals representing
additional state agencies, local and regional governments, local law
enforcement agencies, transit authorities, state colleges and
universities, autonomous vehicle technology developers, motor vehicle
manufacturers, insurance associations, network providers, software
development companies, and other relevant stakeholders as appropriate.

(2) To prepare for the use of autonomous vehicle technology in the
state, the work group, while taking into account the
transportation system policy goals established in RCW 47.04.280(1),

(a) Follow developments in autonomous vehicle technology,
autonomous vehicle deployment, and federal, state, and local policies
that relate to the operation of autonomous vehicles, including the
federal government's recommendations related to vehicle performance
guidance for autonomous vehicles, model state policy, and current and
possible federal regulatory tools for the regulation of autonomous
vehicles. The scope of the work must include autonomous commercial
vehicles, in addition to autonomous passenger vehicles;

(b) Explore approaches to the modification of state policy,
rules, and laws to further public safety and prepare the state for
the emergence and deployment of autonomous vehicle technology. Areas
for consideration may include, but are not limited to, manufacturer
vehicle testing, vehicle registration and titling requirements,
driver's license requirements, rules of the road, criminal law,
roadway infrastructure, traffic management, transit, vehicle
insurance, tort liability, cybersecurity, privacy, advertising,
impacts to social services, and impacts to labor and small

© Disseminate information, as appropriate, to all interested
stakeholders; and

(d) At the direction of the legislature, engage the public
through surveys, focus groups, and other such means, in order to
inform policymakers for the purposes of policy development.

(3)(a) The commission must develop and update recommendations
annually based on the input provided by the work group. By November
15th of each year, the commission must provide a report to the
governor and the relevant committees of the legislature that
describes the progress made by the work group and the commission's

(b) The recommendations made by the commission may include
proposed modifications to state law and rules to address the
emergence and deployment of autonomous vehicle technology in the

NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. Sections 1 and 3 of this act expire
December 31, 2023.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. The legislature finds that autonomous
vehicle technology is rapidly evolving and that the testing and
deployment of this technology is advancing at a rapid pace.
Washington state's policies, laws, and rules predate autonomous
vehicle technology and largely have not been developed in
consideration of the operation of this technology on roadways in the
state. At both the federal and state level, efforts are underway to
begin to establish a framework of policy guidance, laws, and rules
that will organize and govern the use of autonomous vehicle
technology in the United States. The legislature finds that
establishing an autonomous vehicle work group, to be convened by the
transportation commission, will facilitate state efforts to address
the emergence of autonomous vehicle technology. It is the intent of
the legislature for the transportation commission to develop
recommendations for policy, laws, and rules for the operation of
autonomous vehicles, with input from the autonomous vehicle work
group, that enable Washington state to address the public policy
changes necessitated by the emergence of this technology in an
informed, thorough, and deliberate manner. This effort is required
because robot cars are coming, but robot policy makers are not.

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