H.B. NO.



















     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that according to a news article, Honolulu, the largest city in the State, ranked as the year 2011's worst city in the nation for vehicular traffic.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were one hundred nine traffic fatalities in the State in 2009.  Further, human error accounts for up to ninety-five per cent of vehicular collisions.  The Centers for Disease Control reports that crash-related death costs in Hawaii are approximately $124,000,000 every year.

     One possible mechanism for improving these statistics is the use of autonomous or "driverless" motor vehicles, which have the potential to save time, lives, and money.  They may significantly increase vehicular traffic flow and improve transportation safety.  They do not become tired, angry or distracted, and can be aware of more variables that occur on the road.  Further, the vehicles can operate more closely together than traditional vehicles, and can lead to the maximization of


the use of existing highway space.

     The legislature further recognizes that the State of California, the State of Florida, and the State of Nevada recently enacted laws that authorize, for testing purposes, the operation of driverless vehicles within those states.  The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers predicts that seventy-five per cent of vehicles will be driverless by 2040.  Hawaii should therefore take a practical first step toward the eventual prevalence of autonomous vehicles.

     The purpose of this Act is to authorize, for testing purposes, the operation of autonomous vehicles in this State.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:


     §286-A  Definitions.  As used in this part, notwithstanding any law to the contrary:

     “Autonomous technology” means technology that has the capability to drive a motor vehicle without a human operator's active control or monitoring.

     “Autonomous vehicle” means any motor vehicle equipped with

integrated autonomous technology; but does not include a motor vehicle equipped with one or more collision avoidance systems, such as electronic blind spot assistance, automated emergency braking, parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assistance, lane departure warning, traffic jam and queuing assistance, or other similar systems that enhance safety or provide driver assistance, but are not capable, collectively or singularly, of driving the vehicle without a human operator's active control or monitoring.

     "Category 3 or 4 vehicle" means any motor vehicle that matches the description of one of the vehicles described in subparagraphs (3) and (4) of section 286-102(b).

     "Guided operator" means any individual whom a manufacturer specifically authorizes to be an operator of the manufacturer's autonomous vehicle during a test of the vehicle.

     "Manufacturer” means the person who:

     (1)  Originally manufactures a motor vehicle and equips autonomous technology on the originally completed vehicle; or

     (2)  Modifies an original manufacturer's non-autonomous

          motor vehicle by installing autonomous technology to convert it to an autonomous vehicle after the vehicle was originally manufactured.

     “Operator” means any individual seated in the driver’s seat, or, if there is no person in the driver’s seat, the person who causes the autonomous technology of an autonomous vehicle to engage.

     §286-B  Manufacturer's application to conduct tests.  (a)  Before testing an autonomous vehicle on any public road, street, or highway in this State, a manufacturer shall submit to the director an application for approval to test the vehicle.

     (b)  As part of the application process, the manufacturer shall, at a minimum, provide:

(1)  Verification that the vehicle is a category 3 or 4 vehicle;

(2)  Certification that the autonomous vehicle:

(A)  Has a mechanism to engage and disengage the autonomous technology that is easily accessible to the operator;

(B)  Has a visual indicator inside the cabin to indicate when the autonomous technology is engaged;

(C)  Has a system to safely alert the operator if an autonomous technology failure is detected while the autonomous technology is engaged, and that when an alert is given, the system shall:

(i)  Require the operator to take control of the      autonomous vehicle; or

(ii) Have a backup mechanism that forces the vehicle to a complete stop if the operator does not or is unable to take control of the autonomous vehicle;

(D)  Shall allow the operator to take control using multiple means, such as through the use of the brake, the accelerator pedal, or the steering wheel, and shall alert the operator that the autonomous technology has been disengaged; and

(E)  Has autonomous technology that does not make inoperative any federal or state standards and requirements listed in or issued pursuant to applicable law; and

(3)  Evidence of insurance, surety bond, or self-insurance in the amount of $5,000,000, and provide certification that the manufacturer will maintain the insurance, surety bond, or self-insurance.

(c)  The director may assess a fee upon a manufacturer who submits an application to test an autonomous vehicle in an amount up to $500, to recover all necessary costs the department reasonably incurs for:

(1)  Processing the application; and

(2)  Administration and oversight over the testing of autonomous vehicles in the State.

     (d)  The director shall approve an application submitted by a manufacturer if the director finds that the applicant has submitted all information to satisfy the director that the autonomous vehicle is safe to test and the applicant has complied with all requirements specified by this part.

(e)  Any manufacturer or manufacturer's agent who willfully and knowingly fails, neglects or refuses to perform any act required by this section or by rules adopted by the director under this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 for each separate offense.  An action to impose or collect the penalty

provided in this subsection shall be considered a civil action.

     §286-C  Operating autonomous vehicles.  (a)  No person shall operate an autonomous vehicle with its autonomous technology engaged unless the person is:

(1)  Duly licensed to operate the category 3 or 4 vehicle being tested;

(2)  Monitoring the safe operation of the autonomous vehicle;

(3)  A guided operator;

(4)  Operating the vehicle as part of a test authorized under a director's approval for testing the autonomous vehicle, issued pursuant to section 286-B(d); and

(5) Capable of taking over immediate manual control of the autonomous vehicle in the event of an autonomous technology failure or other emergency.

     (b)  Except as provided in this section, the operator of the autonomous vehicle who fails to meet all of the other conditions of that subsection may face administrative penalties as determined by rules adopted pursuant to chapter 91.

(c)  Notwithstanding paragraphs (4) and (5) of subsection (a), a guided operator who is not a manufacturer may reasonably rely upon the autonomous vehicle manufacturer's representations that:

(1)  The operation of the vehicle is part of a test authorized pursuant to section 286-B(d); and

(2)  The vehicle has a backup mechanism that forces the vehicle to a complete stop if the operator does not or is unable to take control of the autonomous vehicle.

(d)  An unlicensed individual who operates an autonomous vehicle, whether or not the vehicle's autonomous technology is engaged, shall instead be charged under section 286-102 for driving without a license.

     §286-D  Liability.  (a)  The original manufacturer of a non-autonomous 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 during the conversion, unless the alleged defect was present in the vehicle as originally manufactured, or the original manufacturer directed or approved of the conversion.

     (b)  In the absence of a showing of recklessness, a duly licensed guided operator of a motor vehicle shall not be liable

in any legal action brought against the operator in relation to the operator's monitoring of an autonomous vehicle pursuant to this section.

     §286-E  Adoption of rules.  (a)  The director shall adopt, no later than January 2, 2015, rules in accordance with chapter 91 providing for the testing of autonomous vehicles within the State.  The rules shall establish:

     (1)  Requirements for the submission and approval of an application to test an autonomous vehicle, and the submission of evidence of insurance, surety bond, or self-insurance, as described in section 286-B;

     (2)  The conditions and limitations that may be placed upon approvals to test autonomous vehicles;

     (3)  Requirements for the equipment and performance standards of autonomous vehicles before any autonomous vehicle may be tested on any public road, street, or highway, including minimum safety requirements; and

     (4)  As necessary, administrative penalties for noncompliance with the requirements of this part.

     (b)  The director may adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 to establish:

     (1)  A special driver's license endorsement for the testing of autonomous motor vehicles;

     (2)  Limits on the aggregate number of tests of autonomous vehicles;

     (3)  Limitations or conditions upon an approval of the testing of an autonomous vehicle, including:

(A)  Limitations on the times and locations of any tests;

(B)  Requirements that mandate the presence of a guided operator in the driver's seat vehicle, even if the vehicle is capable of driving itself without the presence of an operator inside the vehicle; and

     (4)  Other requirements necessary to ensure the safe testing of autonomous vehicles within this State.

     §286-F  Reports to the legislature.  (a)  Before the twentieth day before the convening of each regular session, the director shall submit an annual report to the legislature.

(b)  A report issued pursuant to this section shall, at a minimum:

(1)  Evaluate the feasibility and safety implications of authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles beyond the testing phase;

(2)  State the progress of the adoption or amendment of relevant administrative rules issued pursuant to this chapter;

(3)  Recommend additional legislative action that may be required for the safe testing and operation of autonomous vehicles; and

(4)  State the number and identities of the manufacturers who submitted applications pursuant to section 286-B during the previous twelve months.

     SECTION 3.  Section 286-102, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

     "(b)  A person operating the following category or combination of categories of motor vehicles shall be examined as provided in section 286-108 and duly licensed by the examiner of drivers:

     (1)  Mopeds;

     (2)  Motorcycles and motor scooters;

     (3)  Passenger cars of any gross vehicle weight rating, buses designed to transport fifteen or fewer occupants, and trucks and vans having a gross vehicle weight rating of eighteen thousand pounds or less; and

     (4)  All of the motor vehicles in category (3) and any vehicle that is not a commercial motor vehicle[.];

provided that an individual operating an autonomous vehicle as defined in part     with its autonomous technology engaged shall also meet the additional requirements of that part.

     A school bus or van operator shall be properly licensed to operate the category of vehicles that the operator operates as a school bus or van and shall comply with the standards of the department of transportation as provided by rules adopted pursuant to section 286-181."

     SECTION 4.  In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

     SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that on July 1, 2017, this Act shall be repealed and

section 286-102, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be reenacted in the form in which it read on the day prior to the effective date of this Act.







Report Title:

Autonomous Motor Vehicles; Testing



Authorizes for testing purposes the operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads, streets, and highways.




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