Ohio to Allow Driverless Vehicle Testing

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order on Wednesday that will allow companies to test self-driving cars on all public roads.

The vehicles can be tested without an onboard backup driver. But in these situations, an employee or other specified contractor must “actively” monitor the test and be capable of taking remote control of the vehicle if necessary.

Companies must notify the state and local communities before conducting a driverless test. The designated operator is responsible for the safety of the vehicle and must ensure it complies with all traffic laws, according to the order. If a problem is detected, the person must be able to remotely bring the vehicle to a “minimal risk” condition.

Communities also can volunteer to participate in pilot programs for self-driving vehicles. Areas with varying terrain and traffic conditions are especially desirable.

Kasich aims to make Ohio one of the top five states for developing autonomous vehicle technology along with Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan. He believes vehicles with Level 3-5 autonomy can significantly reduce accidents and injuries and fatalities. Kasich’s parents were killed by drunk drivers.