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While cars that drive themselves are looking to be the wave of the future, they are not currently legal in the state of New York. This technology could potentially curtail you from being cited for many types of traffic violations since the cars take the human factor out of driving. In theory, staying below the speed limit and obeying traffic laws would be automatic since the car would be doing the decision-making for you.

Some auto makers expect that you will be able to purchase a driverless car as early as 2018, according to Gothamist. Other estimates put the likely timeframe closer to 2023. There will be some models that are better adapted to city driving and others that are more focused on traveling on highways.

However, right now there is a law in place that would prevent you from ever purchasing a self-driving car in New York. Adopted in 1971, the law requires that any time a vehicle is in motion one of the driver’s hands must remain on the steering wheel. The wording of the law prohibits you from even using features on current cars that assist with parking since those features allow the car to take control of the steering wheel. That means that if a police officer witnesses you using parking assist technology, you could be ticketed.

In light of this hindrance, some legislators are looking to the future. In order to pave the way for self-driving cars in New York, a bill has been proposed that would change the current law to make one hand on the steering wheel a requirement but only when the car’s steering is not being controlled by some form of driving technology. The bill has passed the State Senate is currently before the State Assembly.

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