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2013 Florida Statutes

SECTION 86
Operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology on roads for testing purposes; financial responsibility; exemption from liability for manufacturer when third party converts vehicle; report.
F.S. 316.86
316.86 Operation of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology on roads for testing purposes; financial responsibility; exemption from liability for manufacturer when third party converts vehicle; report.
(1) Vehicles equipped with autonomous technology may be operated on roads in this state by employees, contractors, or other persons designated by manufacturers of autonomous technology for the purpose of testing the technology. For testing purposes, a human operator shall be present in the autonomous vehicle such that he or she has the ability to monitor the vehicle’s performance and intervene, if necessary, unless the vehicle is being tested or demonstrated on a closed course. Prior to the start of testing in this state, the entity performing the testing must submit to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles an instrument of insurance, surety bond, or proof of self-insurance acceptable to the department in the amount of $5 million.
(2) The original manufacturer of a vehicle converted by a third party into an autonomous vehicle shall not be liable in, and shall have a defense to and be dismissed from, any legal action brought against the original manufacturer by any person injured due to an alleged vehicle defect caused by the conversion of the vehicle, or by equipment installed by the converter, unless the alleged defect was present in the vehicle as originally manufactured.
(3) By February 12, 2014, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives recommending additional legislative or regulatory action that may be required for the safe testing and operation of motor vehicles equipped with autonomous technology.
History.s. 5, ch. 2012-111; s. 109, ch. 2012-174.