Arizona and Self-Driving Cars


Doug Ducey had barely settled as the governor of Arizona when he made one decision that changed the state and how it interacts with Silicon Valley. He allowed Silicon Valley investors to use his state for driverless cars. This happened in January 2015 and at a time when Arizona was about to welcome America for the Super Bowl. It’s during this period that he learned about a local regulator who had plans of shutting down Uber and Lyft drivers for operating illegally. As a public servant, Mr. Doug said that he was very furious. Before Mr. Doug was elected as the governor of Arizona, he used to operate as a chief executive of Cold Stone Creamery which produced ice-cream. He said that he felt that the state was sending the wrong message. At the same time, he said that he felt that they should be telling companies such as Uber and Lyft that they were ready for new ideas. This would eventually attract investment from Silicon Valley. He was speaking during a recent interview. He says that he shut down the agency that was going after these companies. At the same time, he drove his point across when he fired the regulator who came up with the idea. The department that had suggested the regulation was known as Weights and Measures department.

By the end of April 2015, Arizona made the tough call and legalized ride-sharing companies and apps. Since then, the State has managed to implement the idea by the governor to become a favorite destination for the tech industry. In fact, there is a live laboratory in the area that deals with self-driving cars. This is unlike other states that have passed regulations limiting ride-hailing companies from thriving. These regulations are based on insurance, taxes, and safety. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety senior vice president Henry Jasny recently said that America is in a Wild West Phase of autonomous vehicles. This is a situation where companies in the tech industry are looking for states that have few regulations. What Arizona has managed to achieve has been a tech-boom. Dozens of companies have chosen the state as their most preferred destination. This includes companies such as Intel, General Motors as well as Lyft and Uber. However, this has not come without criticism from critics who argue that the state is giving the companies a lot of freedom in conducting the trials on the roads.


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