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Minnesota Lays Groundwork for Autonomous Vehicles

March 12, 2018

Photo via R M Media Ltd/
Photo via R M Media Ltd/

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) has formed a 15-member advisory council to make policy recommendations regarding traffic regulations, safety issues, and privacy concerns as they relate to rolling out self-driving vehicles in the state.

The group will be co-chaired by Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle and Christopher Clark, Xcel Energy's president for Minnesota and the Dakotas, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Commissioner Zelle has said that Minnesota's cold climate provides testers with a unique educational perspective, reported the Star Tribune. For example, when the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) recently began testing an autonomous shuttle, officials learned about how self-driving vehicles maneuver roads when lanes are covered in snow.

Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman noted that autonomous vehicles could reduce congestion and make roads safer, and she emphasized the importance of studying how police officers interact with self-driving cars, the Star Tribune reported.

The advisory council's policy recommendations are due to the governor in December.

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