Legislation to create a task force to evaluate autonomous vehicles was approved last week by the full New Jersey General Assembly.
The measure would create the New Jersey Advanced Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, comprised of eight members. The group would be responsible for conducting a study of autonomous vehicles (AVs) as well as recommending laws, rules and regulations the state may enact to safely integrate AVs on roadways.
An advanced AV would be defined as a motor vehicle with a driving automation level of three, four or five, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers International and used by the United States Department of Transportation for autonomous vehicle policy guidance. Level three vehicles are classified as having conditional automation, during which an autonomous system operates under certain conditions with human drivers as a backup; level four vehicles have high automation, such as Google’s test cars; and level five cars are fully automated and do not have a steering wheel.
The task force will be comprised of the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), the Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety, three public members appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy, one public member appointed by the state Senate President, and one public member appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly.
The group would be required to meet within 90 days after the bill’s effective date, and again within 180 days of the first meeting. It would be required to issue a report to Gov. Murphy and the Legislature evaluating safety standards and recommending best practices. The New Jersey MVC and NJDOT would be required to assist the task force with necessary duties.