Hands-Free Cars Take Wheel, and Law Isn’t Stopping Them

But the innovations have prompted the question: Is it legal? The vast majority of states do not have any rules at all. The few that do passed the laws primarily to allow research and testing. Only New York specifically requires that drivers keep one hand on the wheel, but that dates to a law from 1967.
As a result, automakers are pushing into a regulatory void.

“Where it’s not expressly prohibited, we would argue it’s allowed,” said Anna Schneider, vice president for governmental relations at Volkswagen, which owns Audi.

“We don’t need any change in legislation to put Super Cruise on the road,” said Dan Flores, a spokesman for General Motors. Tesla declined to comment on the issue.