Illinois to develop testing program for self-driving vehicles

llinois is taking the first step toward putting self-driving vehicles on the road, but it may be some time before they get there.

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday signed an executive order creating the Autonomous Illinois Initiative, which sets guidelines for testing the technology and sharing information between developers, researchers and state agencies. Testing of autonomous vehicles will require a driver to remain behind the wheel, capable of taking control of the vehicle at all times, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“This is what we’ve been waiting for — some direction from the state,” said Roman Kuropas, CEO and founder of Burr Ridge-based Innova Ev, which is testing self-driving vehicles at Ohio State University. “We want to be able to do it in our own backyard,” said Kuropas, whose company uses small golf cart-like electric vehicles for ride-sharing.