The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced on Jan. 24 that it will be creating a Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Task Force, providing resources, hosting industry forums, and coordinating initiatives and investments for both public and private developers.
“Our goal is to further build on the momentum already established with the Texas Technology Task Force and the Texas Innovation Alliance, and work with interested parties on the latest and greatest in CAV projects and enhancements,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “We look forward to furthering these important efforts as connected and autonomous vehicles become reality.”
Under the umbrella of the Department of Transportation, the group intends to “enable companies to pursue innovative ideas around CAV technology in a business-friendly way,” according to the press release.
"With our world-class universities, top-notch workforce, and startup culture, Texas is a national leader in the development of new technologies," said Gov. Greg Abbott. "As transportation technology advances, the CAV Task Force will ensure that the Lone Star State remains at the forefront of innovation."
The task force is also specifically tasked with building on legislation passed in Texas regarding autonomous vehicles. In 2017 Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that allowed companies to test self-driving cars on the road as long as they were capable of following all traffic laws, were equipped with cameras to record their drives, and carried insurance. Google had been testing self-driving cars in the state since 2015.
As of November 2018, 29 states have enacted laws related to permitting and regulating self-driving vehicle testing.