Lawmakers in the state of New Mexico started discussing self-driving vehicle legislation in an unofficial capacity earlier this week, with domestic Transportation Secretary Tom Church revealing that Governor Susana Martinez is considering officially introducing the matter to the agenda of the upcoming parliamentary session that’s set to start in January. New Mexico regulators are reportedly looking to draft a legal framework for regulating the emerging technology before it’s commercialized, with State Senator James White discussing the matter with his colleagues last Tuesday, according to recent reports. White is said to have argued in favor of enacting relevant legislation as soon as possible in an effort to be prepared for what’s widely believed to be the next major technological revolution.
The Republican politician reportedly said that the advancements in the autonomous driving industry are being made “much faster than the government can keep up,” adding that advocates of such solutions claim that self-driving cars can save and improve many lives. White didn’t elaborate on his own views on driverless vehicles but simply stated that the industry cannot be left unchecked for much longer. While speaking to the Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Subcommittee earlier this week, the Senator revealed that he took notice of self-driving solutions after riding in an autonomous car during a gathering organized by the Council of State Governments earlier this year.
Just like the majority of U.S. states, New Mexico currently has no laws regulating autonomous vehicles in any manner. It’s still unclear how quickly will the local government be able to proceed with drafting and enacting legislation meant to oversee this industry segment, especially as its plans may change depending on the federal legal framework for self-driving technologies that’s currently in the process of being materialized, having recently been approved by a U.S. House panel. The broad proposal seeks to define requirements that automakers need to fulfill in order to receive permissions to test autonomous vehicles on public roads but is still at least months away from being written into law. While lawmakers are yet to come up with comprehensive legislation regulating the self-driving industry, Silicon Valley giants like Alphabet, Uber, and Tesla continue to race for the title of the first company that managed to commercialize this emerging technology.