Gov. John Carney on Tuesday signed an executive order Tuesday establishing an advisory council on connected and autonomous vehicles.
The formation of the council is part of a long-running effort by Delaware to present a friendly image to the technology community.
In an earlier instance, Delaware authorized the use of the Uber and Lyft ride services while neighboring Philadelphia wrestled with regulatory issues and opposition from cab drivers. Autonomous capabilities are part of the future plans of both companies.
Autonomous vehicles are a controversial area with media reports highlighting accidents that occurred in testing
At the same time, automakers are cranking out increasingly sophisticated features that set the stage for such vehicles. The newest cars, trucks and SUVs now offer warning signals when a vehicle wanders out of its lane, or automatically apply brakes when coming too close to another vehicle in the same lane.
The 19-member council will develop recommendations for tools and strategies that can be used to prepare Delaware’s transportation network for connected and autonomous vehicles, and the council will report back to the Governor and the General Assembly by September 2018, a release stated.
Carney signed the executive order on Tuesday morning at AAA Mid-Atlantic’s headquarters in Wilmington.
“We must remain forward-looking to ensure that Delawareans can capitalize on the economic benefits of new technology, and to position our state as a leader in the 21st century economy,” said Carney. “Delaware can and should be a proving ground for this new technology. This council will help us identify economic opportunities related to connected and autonomous vehicles, and address potential issues as manufacturers continue to develop this new technology.”
Carney signed the executive order just days after signing the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Investment Act, bipartisan legislation that will accelerate investments in mobile broadband infrastructure, expand access to high-speed internet for Delawareans and businesses across the state, and encourage innovation.
The release stated that the council will develop recommendations related to economic development; technology, security, and privacy; transportation network infrastructure; and the impact of emerging technologies on public and highway safety.
“As automated vehicle technology continues to develop, this council will help inform and guide how Delaware can be best positioned to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Jennifer Cohan, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation.
“As the motorist’s advocate, AAA’s goal is to support autonomous vehicle innovation with an eye toward safety and ease of consumer use and understanding,” stated Berni Koch, CEO of AAA Mid-Atlantic. “We appreciate the opportunity to serve on the state’s AV Task Force, and applaud the leadership of Governor Carney and the hard work by Secretary Cohan and her team to position Delaware on the leading edge of an evolution in transportation.”