CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is going to begin working on a bill that would propose regulations for self-driving vehicles.

DMV Acting Commissioner Steve Dale told state lawmakers Monday the driverless vehicles are already being tested in four states.

“It’s certainly something that is definitely on the front burner as far as DMVs are concerned,” Dale said.

Vehicle manufacturers are coming out with additional options every year.

“In 2019 they project that self-driving technology packages will be available on new cars and by 2020 the prediction is that driving will become highly automated,” Dale said.

The acting commissioner said it’s a progression that began when the stick-shift went to automatic transmission and disc brakes went to the anti-lock braking system.

Del. Margaret Staggers, D-Fayette, asked Dale to come up with a proposed bill for lawmakers to consider in next year’s regular session.

“It’s going to come and West Virginia might as well not be (last) in this. We might as well do something,” Staggers said.

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  • The Jetsons

    I wish all the four lane roads would go to vehicles that had rail capabilities. For instance, once you approached the on ramp to I79 your rail wheels would drop and the automated system would take over like a subway. When you wanted to exit push the number for the exit and you get off and your driving wheels come back down and you are in control again. Imagine how much dead time would become productive time on a 3 or 4 hour trip. Use laptop, phone, have a Web X meeting...Sleep if you wish.
    We already have the base in place and would need to retrofit with rails. All you would need is some weed killer to keep the weeds down that would grow up through the concrete and blacktop.
    Fast lane for cars and such, slow lane for semi's. Snow removal may be a problem.

    Just an idea.....

  • Randy

    Driverless cars in WV! In your face America! You all (yall,yuns) think we are behind the times, but we are soon to have autos that don't need a driver to operate. We already have voters and Social Security recipients that don't need a pulse or respiration. We ain't backwards a** country f****. We are at the forefront of a new era. As Hoppy(or is it Tony Carridi would say(you guys sound the same and have never been seen in public together) It's a great day to be a West Virginian wherever you are.

  • P B and J

    Why rush? We're last in everything else in the nation.

    Except of course obesity, obesity related illnesses and Rx overdoses.

  • Roger

    We already have driverless vehicles in the state...You just watch how some people drive and one would swear that no one is behind the wheel. These cars are probably smarter than these drivers, so this new concept might just work out fine. My only question - Are these new cars smart enough to dodge all the potholes and broken pavement?
    If they are, then they really are smart, as most of us can't do it....

  • Mister G!

    Yes, Del. Staggers, legislate something, regulate anything, but hurry, hurry ...

    • Barry

      I agree Mister G! They definitely aren't regulating us enough now! Do you realize that I mowed my yard yesterday without being...wait....disregard, the mower I used was highly regulated. But I did take my kids for ice cream last night without...oops...the vehicle I used to get there is highly regulated, as is my license to drive. (Not to mention the fees and taxes that I pay on both.) Let's see...I am trying HARD to figure out something that I do, which isn't regulated. Ummm...I can't!