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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Senate Bill 1541, a bill that would allow fully autonomous vehicles to operate without a human on public roads, passed the full Senate on Monday with a 44-1 vote.

SB1541’s author, Senator Paul Rosino, R-District 45, said the bill would bring Oklahoma up to speed with the industry’s new technology.

“Oklahoma is the only state on the I-40 corridor that isn’t already allowing AVs. That places our state at an economic and public safety disadvantage,” said Sen. Rosino. 

During the bill’s discussion in the Senate Transportation Committee on February 22, Sen. Rosino credited the proven safety of AVs, listing features of radar, several kinds of cameras, infrared technology and sonar (sound technology).

“So the vehicle’s 100% technology-based. As a matter of fact, the current estimation is there’s over 300,000 of these vehicles that have operated without one single incident.”

Sen. Rosino gave further statistics on AVs compared to human drivers.

“A human driver takes approximately one and a half seconds to respond to some kind of incident,” said Sen. Rosino. “These autonomous vehicles will take less than a fourth of a second to respond.”

Senator Rosino clarified to fellow lawmakers in committee that the operator can virtually drive up to 3 trucks at a time and that before an AV can operate in the state, they have to have a law enforcement interaction plan on file and approved through DPS.

SB1541 now moves to the House for further consideration.