Return to News Feb 13, 2024

Autonomous Vehicle Industry Commends South Dakota for Signing AV Legislation into Law

The Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA) applauds the signing of South Dakota’s HB 1095 by Governor Kristi Noem, a bill that establishes a regulatory framework allowing autonomous vehicles (AVs) to be safely deployed in the state.

“The Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association commends Governor Noem and South Dakota lawmakers for recognizing the opportunities autonomous vehicles will provide for the state, paving the road to a safer future and more resilient supply chains,” said CEO Jeff Farrah. “AV technology will support farmers, ranchers, and businesses of all sizes in South Dakota.”

AVs have unparalleled 360-degree vision and use the latest advancements in lidar, radar, cameras, and other technologies, surpassing human driving capabilities. AVs do not engage in dangerous behavior like impaired, distracted, reckless, or drowsy driving, unlike human drivers. 

Prior to the introduction of HB 1095, the South Dakota Autonomous Vehicle Working Group - consisting of Representative Roger Chase, the Department of Transportation, Transportation Commission, Department of Public Safety, Department of Revenue, Sheriffs’ Association, Retailers Association, Municipal League and Trucking Association - worked collaboratively with industry to propose legislation that will allow AVs to test and operate in South Dakota with an approach that prioritizes safety, requiring the technology to achieve safe fallback maneuvers and be in compliance with all state and city traffic laws. South Dakota becomes the twenty-fourth state in the country to pass legislation authorizing safe AV operation.

With 89.2% of South Dakota intrastate freight moving by truck, autonomous trucks will support vital parts of the state’s economy, getting goods to customers faster, tapping into new geographic markets, and improving fuel savings. Federal data estimates that U.S. freight volume will increase by 50% by 2050. At the same time, the current shortage of nearly 80,000 truck drivers is set to double by 2031. This means that as autonomous trucks roll out gradually, the technology will thrive alongside truck drivers. 

A U.S. Department of Transportation study confirmed that AV trucks will spur $111 billion in investment spending and create up to 35,000 jobs each year. AV companies are already creating new jobs in other states, employing truck drivers to support testing and development as well as terminal operators, fleet and vehicle technicians, remote assistance specialists, dispatchers, mapping experts, and engineers.


About the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA)

AVIA works with lawmakers, regulators, and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of autonomous vehicles. As the unified voice of the AV industry, the association is comprised of companies with diverse technical expertise and experience in the technology, automobile, ridehail, trucking, and logistics sectors. Bringing together their varied backgrounds, the companies formed AVIA to advance AVs’ tremendous safety, mobility and economic benefits to consumers in the safest and swiftest manner possible.