It may sound futuristic and that’s because it is, but legislation has been introduced to position New Jersey as one of the first states to be a hub for autonomous vehicles.

You might be wondering, what’s an autonomous vehicle? It’s a driverless car.

The measure sponsored by State Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. directs the Motor Vehicle Commission to establish standards for licensing autonomous vehicles, or any operated by artificial intelligence, sensors, GPS systems or any other self-driving technologies. The Commission would establish regulations authorizing the use of autonomous vehicles, and create rules covering safety, testing, insurance, registration and operation.

“Centuries ago, people riding on a horse-drawn carriage would have never imagined that people can now push a button to start a car and press a pedal to make it drive 200 miles per hour,” said Kean. “It is hard to imagine cars driving us to work while we read the news, but there are significant technological advances being made toward that end, and New Jersey has a lot to gain from being at the forefront of such innovation.”

In might surprise you to learn that New Jersey would not be the first state to do this. We would actually become the fourth state to adopt a law permitting autonomous vehicles and the first to do so in the densely populated, fast-paced Northeast.

“Just as with the development and implementation of trains and airplanes, we have to trust ingenuity and keep an open mind,” said Kean. “It is another avenue to continue economic growth in this state, while we continue to cut red tape; make record investments in schools for our next generation; and continue adding private-sector jobs each month.”


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