With the stroke of Gov. Tom Wolf’s pen, House Bill 2398 has now become law following months of negotiations and the bulk of it will take effect in July 2023. Late last month, the bi-partisan bill passed the House with a vote of 119-79 in favor after making its way through the Senate with a vote of 29-20 in favor.
The law amends the state’s Title 75 Motor Vehicle Code so that it no longer requires a licensed human driver to be inside a highly automated vehicle when that vehicle is undergoing testing on public roadways, a necessary step for the commercialization of this technology. Pennsylvania joins over a dozen states that permit similar testing arrangements for autonomous vehicle (AV) companies that have demonstrated the ability to meet certain advanced safety requirements and protections, one of which is the requirement that AV certificate holders operating in the commonwealth carry a minimum of $1 million in insurance coverage.