The existing legislation that pertains to connected and autonomous vehicles and their operation in Texas are as follows:
HB 3026, 87th Legislature (2021)
- HB 3026 relates to the operation and regulation of certain automated motor vehicles that exempts automated vehicles from certain motor vehicle equipment laws and regulations. The law amends the Transportation Code (https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/docs/tn/htm/tn.545.htm) to exempt an automated motor vehicle that is designed to be operated exclusively by the automated driving system from state motor vehicle equipment laws or regulations that relate to or support operation by a human driver and that are not relevant for an automated driving system. If a vehicle safety inspection is required for the operation of such a vehicle, the vehicle must automatically be considered to pass the inspection with respect to any equipment covered by the bill’s exemption or any equipment that is not subject to inspection under state law.
SB 1308, 87th Legislature (2021)
- SB 1308 relates to a border traffic study on the impacts of using certain motor vehicle technologies. This research requires TxDOT and DPS, in consultation with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the appropriate federal agencies, to jointly conduct a study on:
- the potential benefits of using automated driving systems, connected driving systems, and other emerging technologies to alleviate motor vehicle traffic congestion at ports of entry on the Texas-Mexico border; and
- the overall impact of using automated driving systems, connected driving systems, and other emerging technologies on the transportation industry workforce and the broader Texas economy, including the effects on driver and public safety.
SB 969, 86th Legislature (2019)
- SB 969 governs the operation of a personal delivery or mobile carrying device in a pedestrian area or on the side or shoulder of a highway
SB 2205, 85th Legislature (2017)
- SB 2205 creates a legal framework for the operation of automated motor vehicles in Texas and explicitly allows an automated motor vehicle to operate on highways in the state, with or without a human operator, under certain circumstances.
HB 1791, 85th Legislature (2017)
- HB 1791 authorizes an operator of a vehicle equipped with a connected braking system that is following another vehicle equipped with that system to be assisted by the connected braking system to maintain a clear distance or “sufficient space.”
For more information:
Policy Brief: How Does Texas Law Change the Legal Landscape for Automated Vehicles?