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Northeast Times | December 1, 2021

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North Texas Legislators Sen. Kelly Hancock and Rep. Charlie Geren Recognized for Leadership on Smart Transportation Issues

North Texas Legislators Sen. Kelly Hancock and Rep. Charlie Geren Recognized for Leadership on Smart Transportation Issues

Smart Mobility Texas, a statewide coalition of automotive interests dedicated to supporting policy advancements that promote and accelerate development of new transportation technologies, conferred its inaugural “Transportation Technology Innovator” awards upon Senator Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Representative Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, in recognition of their leadership in authoring SB 2205 during the 2017 regular session of the Texas Legislature.

The awards are to be presented to the legislators on January 12 in Fort Worth.

SB 2205, authored by Hancock and sponsored in the House of Representatives by Geren, provides for Autonomous Vehicle (AV) testing in Texas and authorizes the eventual state-wide implementation of driverless cars on Texas roadways. Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 2205 into law on June 15, 2017.

The new law positions Texas as a leader in preparing for advances in new technologies that are driving a new era of innovation in transportation. The legislation authorizes the continued unimpeded testing of AVs across the state and vests the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles with the sole statewide regulatory authority for this emerging class of high tech vehicles, ensuring a viable, predictable and reasonable state level regulatory structure that will transform a number of modes of transportation in the near future. The legislation has a large group of stakeholders involved including law enforcement, insurers, municipalities, disability advocates, transportation networking companies and the technology and transportation sectors.

Smart Mobility Texas President Russ Keene praised the two veteran legislators.

“We thank Senator Hancock and Representative Geren for shaping what many consider to be the most straightforward and workable state law in the country to prepare for and advance self-driving vehicles, along with the development of intelligent roads as part of future smart cities.”

“This important legislation is already helping Texas take full advantage of new technologies that will help improve passenger safety, enhance mobility and improve highway congestion and flow in Texas.”

For more than 50 years, America’s automakers like Ford, GM and Toyota have invested billions of dollars in R & D and new technologies to increase passenger and pedestrian safety in vehicles, as well as creating new mobility options to better connect cars into Americans’ ever increasingly mobile lifestyles.

SB 2205 was strongly endorsed by the members of Smart Mobility Texas, automobile sector companies who are long invested in research and development of smart transportation and connected cars to improve mobility and to enhance automobile passenger and pedestrian safety in the U.S. and other markets they serve.
The law became effective September 1, 2017.