back to article Texas says 'howdy' to completely driverless robo-cars on its roads

Texas will, from later this year, allow the entire Lone Star State to become a test bed for cars that can drive themselves with or without a human behind the wheel. A newly enacted law, SB 2205, was signed off on Thursday by Governor Greg Abbott, and will go into effect on September 1. Under the new rules, researchers can try …

  1. Nolveys

    Great News For Texas

    I understand it's difficult to drive and shoot at things at the same time.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great News For Texas

      That's why you have someone riding 'shotgun', duh!

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    And I turn to her and say, "Texas"

    She says, "What?"

    I said, "Texas"

    She says, "What?"

    They got big long roads out there

    (c) Chris Rea, from the Road to Hell album.

  3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    It's beginning to seem like a race to the bottom

    It's a bidding war to "win" the work, lowest bidder wins. Will it all end in tears if the bar gets too low?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: It's beginning to seem like a race to the bottom

      the race to the bottom is happening out here in Cali-fornicate-you where...

      a) single use plastic bags were banned in all stores, in an ELECTION no less. grocery stores MUST charge money for "re-usable" bags, and 75% of people NOW "go bagless" instead. It's irritating as hell. And with so many people HATING it, how did it PASS a VOTE? Voter fraud much?

      b) huge gasoline tax and car tax increases on the horizon. Even electric cars will be taxed. "for the roads". Because highway funds were diverted to a) illegal immigrant social services, and b) the 'crazy train' that NOBODY will EVAR use.

      c) state legislature "passes a law" to make it HARDER to recall politicians [basically using bureaucracy to slow down recall petitions to the point where they don't do any good] . It's a blatant violation of the state constitution, too. But they don't care, apparently.

      d) The "crazy train" to nowhere and illegal immigrants get plenty of free state money, at the expense of those fewer and fewer Californians who actually EARN a living. Yeah, it's a "sanctuary state", with minimum wages constantly being raised, along with taxation. It's gotten WAY WORSE within the last year or so.

      and so on.

      So YEAH, I'm thinking about moving to Texas. I'd form a Texas corporation, sell the California corporation to it, and then MOVE. Houston is on the gulf coast, probably an ok place. I'll have to trade hurricanes for earthquakes.

      I don't blame Texas for making it very very attractive for tech companies. It's already very attractive because of what the idiots in Sacramento are up to these days.

      But if Google and Facebook (and others) pick up and move to Texas, how long before they change it for the WORSE...?

      1. Old Used Programmer

        Re: It's beginning to seem like a race to the bottom

        First correction...the plastic bag ban wasn't ENACTED by a vote. It was enacted by he legislature. The public vote was to overturn the action of the legislature...and it failed. But don't blame me, I voted against the ban...but probably not for the reason you'd think. I don't object--per se--to banning plastic bags. I object to *requiring* stores to charge for paper bags. But, then, I remember life before plastic grocery bags...

  4. Frank N. Stein


    This insures I never move to, visit, nor go on tour in Texas. They want KITT on their roads, they can have it without me.

    1. Robert Heffernan

      Re: Great

      Thats ok, im sure the dark ages where you're from has its charm

  5. Semianonymous Megacoward

    Chris Rea's Texas

    Great song. First heard it in Glasgow before being posted to Texas -- 26 years ago.

    Regarding driving in Texas, robo-cars can't be worse than those piloted by the meat sacks in the state.

  6. Robert Heffernan

    Feeding the trolls?

    Its a great move on the part of the state but given how quickly the judiciary in that state is to bend tech companies over a barrel while the patent trolls are busy getting the lube ready, i will be surprised if any tech companies do set up shop at all.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Feeding the trolls?

      Patent law is feral not state and the Nine Seniles basically struck down court shopping by the plaintiffs in patent cases.

  7. Old Used Programmer

    Old adage...

    If I owned Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas.

    (I did once live in Texas. Fortunately, only for a year, but I did manage to get first prize in a regional Science Fair while I was there.)

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Old adage...

      As stated by General Phil Sheridan who was noted for trashing the Shenandoah Valley much Sherman did to Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Already better than most Houston drivers.

    It doesn't have to be the best driver out there... it just needs to be better than the worst drivers, which isn't a high bar.

    1. anonCoward24

      Re: Already better than most Houston drivers.

      ANYTHING is quite mucho better than hipster drivers as seen during SXSW and even "normal" in Austin, not even talking about those who from time to time make national news...

      That place was built for 200 K people max, now sports over 1 M, seemingly all of them feeling like they have the right to do whatever. Would feel like complaining of some Texas hubris, if it weren't that, hmmm, numbers, math..., 80% obviously are not from there

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ok, so it's not testing that cars can drive themselves

    They actually want them to also stay on the road, follow traffic signs, not to run over people, ... while driving themselves.

  10. FozzyBear

    I have visions of the first convoy of autonomous cars filled with overly smug politicians driving down the highway and then off a cliff.

    I can dream can't I?

  11. ian 22

    Governator Abbot?

    Now that Abbot has thrown the state wide open for lethal autonomous automotive weapons, will the state legislature mandate painting bulls-eyes on the backs of pedestrians?

  12. devilbob

    No Texas for Tesla

    Doesn't Texas prevent direct sales of Tesla? So you can test here but not sell here?

  13. handle

    Driverless cars? Pedestrians will know they can always cross in front of them and they'll have to screech to a halt. Or do Texan laws simply allow pedestrians to be run over?

  14. redneck


    Terrific. Now, as a cyclist on Texas roads, I not only have to avoid texters, weaving old folks driving ancient pickups, DWI folks, and the odd cowboy spitting tobacco juice on me, but now I will also have to avoid driverless cars. Heck, my new car can only handle lane change avoidance on highways with lane markings. How's a driverless vee-hickle going to avoid a cyclist on an old country road (both paved and unpaved) that lacks lane markings?

    1. handle

      Re: cyclists

      Yep, it's known that cyclists are a difficult problem for autonomous vehicles. They sometimes behave like vehicles and sometimes like like pedestrians. It's difficult to work out which is the front and which the back. It's reckoned the only solution might be, as with pedestrians, to keep them segregated, chopping up communities even more with fenced-off roads.

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