Registering vehicles and licensing
The Rules-of-the-Road statutes
for drivers and vehicle registration have not changed. Connected or automated vehicles are registered in the same as any vehicle currently on the road. A valid driver’s license is required to operate an AV on public roads. Both new and existing drivers should know the limitations of the technology in their vehicles.
State laws and semi-automated vehicles
Semi-automated vehicles require an operator who is responsible for the correct use of the technology in the vehicle in addition to meeting all of the Wisconsin Rules of the Road statutes.
Driver licensing and vehicle safety requirements
State DMVs provide testing and licensing for human drivers, but NHTSA regulates the safety systems in vehicles.
Licensing the automation in a self-driving car
Who licenses the software in an automated vehicle is undetermined, currently. Most states that allow self-driving cars on the road require a permit to be filed with the state before testing or operation, with or without a safety driver.
Ticketing a self-driving vehicle
In most states, in a crash or traffic violation the owner of the vehicle receives ticket if there is no driver when operating in Level 4, or fully automated mode in a limited operational design domain (ODD).
Note: Tesla’s AutoPilot, Enhanced AutoPilot or Full Self-driving beta, GM SuperCruise, and others are only Level 2 driver assist systems, so the driver is responsible for the technology in the vehicle.
Automated features that fail and cause a crash
Like any mechanical malfunction of a vehicle, if an automated system or feature fails and causes a crash the driver of the vehicle would be ticketed for the crash. When operating without a driver, the owner of the vehicle would be held responsible for the crash.