Driver-less cars, vehicles operated by computers, sensors and cameras, could be allowed on Wisconsin roads under legislation proposed by state Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison.
According to a news release from Risser on Thursday, the legislation would permit the testing of such vehicles in Wisconsin. It would make the Badger state the first in the Midwest to permit the technology.
"Driver-less cars will provide options for those who otherwise have difficulty getting around," Risser said. "They could also improve driver safety, and in the near future, we may be able to program our destination into our car and arrive safely without ever turning the steering wheel."
Three state legislatures, in California, Nevada and Florida, have passed bills allowing for the testing of such cars, and other states are expected to do the same.
According to Risser, one thing that Wisconsin has that the Sun Belt states don't have is winter weather, which could be a selling point to carmakers trying to develop vehicles that can handle sleet, snow and ice.
"That's an important step in the technology's development, since operating challenges created by sleet and snow have not yet been resolved," Risser said.
Risser is circulating the bill in the Legislature for co-sponsorship.
"Developing this technology is in line with Wisconsin's forward-thinking ideals," he said. "Passage of this legislation would build a connection to future automobile production and design in our state."