Bill would put brakes on driverless cars

A fatal accident involving a self-driving vehicle in Arizona is causing reverberations in Minnesota’s Capitol.

Last week, a woman was struck and killed by a driverless test vehicle for Uber in Tempe, Ariz. That state’s governor has demanded that Uber suspend the tests on streets in his state.

Minnesota Sen. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, said state laws here should be changed to bar automated driving systems until the companies behind the cars can prove they are safe.

“Arizona confirmed my concerns,” Abeler said. “I’ve been hearing about this and am very worried about it. And very frankly the idea of driving home while you ride in the back seat is just a recipe for trouble.”

Abeler and three other senators introduced a bill Tuesday that seeks the ban. Abeler doesn’t expect it to pass this year but he wants to start the debate.

“People need to pay attention to what’s happening,” he said. “And I put the bill in today to make that point.”

  • Dave

    Will he also introduce a bill that bans human drivers? They have a lot worse record than computer drivers.

    • Dylan

      “On average, a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes
      in traffic crashes.” – 2013 data – Yet a self driving car kills 1 person and Jim wants to go banning them. Luddite.

  • Fred

    Maybe we should also ban the Green Line light rail until the Met Council can prove it is safe. How many have been killed on that so far?

  • Fred

    The lady that was killed by the driverless Uber was pushing a bicycle across the street. I’ve heard driverless cars have trouble with bicycles in general.

  • Steven Theisen

    This guy is owns a chiropractic clinic. He has a vested interest in not reducing automobile accidents in the long term. I’m sure he sees plenty of his revenues from auto insurance companies after accidents. All he’s doing is looking after number 1.