State senator files bill to allow driverless cars without licensed driver

- State. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) has introduced legislation that will make it legal for a driverless car to be operated by someone who does not have a license to drive a regular car.

"The car is the operator, not the driver anymore," he said. "We are really asking the question: Does a driver have to be physically present in the vehicle?"

It would open personal transportation to the blind, deaf, elderly, and even children.

"If the vehicle does get into an accident, and if the vehicle does get into an accident, how does it notify the state or local law enforcement?"

A car could return to home on its own, or make another pickup.

"If the machine can drive better than, or at least two or three times better than a 16-year-old boy, then I think we should consider allowing the machine itself to be licensed."

He says driverless cars will significantly cut down on the 2,500 Floridians who die in crashes every year, the 250,000 injuries, and accidents overall. Today, 94 percent are a person's fault. 

It also means the end of speeding tickets and parking revenue, which means more attention from lawmakers is certain to follow.

"The implications to our lifestyle is pretty dramatic as well," said Brandes.

In just the next five years, Lyft expects half of their rides will be in driverless cars.

By 2030, just about all cars will be equipped with driverless technology.

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