– Landmark legislation that will allow Pennsylvania to regain its position at the forefront of highly autonomous vehicle (HAV) testing passed the state House on Wednesday and is on its way to the governor for his signature, announced Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest), who introduced and crafted the bill.
“For years, the HAV industry has had a healthy and encouraging presence in Pennsylvania – due in many ways to the institutions of higher learning specifically those with great robotics and engineering programs,” Oberlander said. “The industry grew rapidly, and our Commonwealth was on the cutting edge, allowing for the testing of these vehicles while working on continued research and development.”
Because of Pennsylvania’s leadership, other states began to take notice and began adopted their own legislation to become more competitive to this emerging industry. Most of those 23 states looked to Pennsylvania to develop their own policies and to attempt to leapfrog in front of Pennsylvania as the industry advances. Without this legislation Pennsylvania would be challenged to regain its footing as a leader in HAV space and could potentially be left behind and lose out to other states.
Oberlander’s legislation, House Bill 2398
, was the result of countless of hours of engagement with the stakeholders, including PennDOT. It helps grow Pennsylvania’s economy by creating family sustaining jobs in technology; addresses current supply chain issues; and will save lives and improve safety.
In Pittsburgh alone, the economic footprint includes 6,300 new jobs, $651 million in labor income, $34.7 million in state and local tax revenue, and $126.7 million in federal taxes.
“This bill strikes an important balance between the concerns and challenges, while keeping the safety of Pennsylvanians top of mind." “This legislation is a loud and clear message that Pennsylvania continues to support this industry and welcomes the continued growth in this technology sector.”
Once signed in the House and Senate, the governor has 10 days to sign the bill.