There was no public testimony on this agenda item. Commissioner Mielke shared the final Uniform Law Commission (ULC) draft with comments and other ULC materials with the commission and explained that the uniform act deals only with non-commercial automated vehicles, i.e., ownership, registration, and who is the driver, similar to what is required in current motor vehicle law. The uniform act was drafted to fit into current motor vehicle statutes, which will need to be updated anyway, to define the new players as they fit into current law regarding motor vehicles. The act also gives states some financial protection regarding new industry costs by providing that the expenses from any additional actions required to regulate the emerging industry is paid by the entity needing the action. The manufacturing, equipment, software, and other safety concerns about automated vehicles being on the road are all federal. The commission discussion included whether states would become responsible for verifying the road safety of aging automated vehicles and how the uniform act would work with existing law in Colorado. Existing automated vehicle law allows authorized automated vehicles on the roads and restricts state agencies and subdivisions from adopting policies or rules that sets standards that differ from the standards set from people-driven vehicles. The uniform act deals with the registering and insuring of automated vehicles, which are expected to become available and on the road starting in 2020. The commission observed, based on the floor discussions on Senate Bill 17-213, that the bill may be a heavy lift and that it would be helpful to try to address any legal concerns that may be raised in advance. The commission noted that the major concern from the 2017 bill was the impact of automated vehicles on commercial vehicles and labor and this act would go in the motor vehicle statutes regarding the ownership and registration of individual vehicle owners. It was observed that Colorado may already be behind the curve regarding this new industry and putting a bill on bill paper is the best way to bring out stakeholders and get the conversation started.
Commissioner Mielke moved to draft the Uniform Automated Operation of Vehicles Act as a commission bill for introduction during the 2020 legislative session. Commissioner Whitfield seconded and, after a roll call vote, the motion passed without objection. Commissioner Mielke will be the commission contact on the bill. The commission noted that a bill sponsor will need to be identified prior to the bill being introduced.