Background Photo Provided by the
Nebraska Tourism Commission
Offical Nebraska Government Website
Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Welcomes Autonomous Vehicle Technology to Nebraska

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Luke Robson, 402-471-1967




Gov. Ricketts presents Sen. Anna Wishart with a signed copy of LB 989 at a ceremony hosted at the Nebraska Innovation Campus.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a ceremonial bill signing event at the Nebraska Innovation Campus for LB 989.  LB 989, introduced by Senator Anna Wishart of Lincoln, paves the way for the use of autonomous vehicles (AV) in Nebraska.


“With LB 989, we have positioned Nebraska as a leader in the area of autonomous vehicle technology,” said Governor Ricketts.  “As the technology advances in years to come, it has the potential to save lives and make our roads safer places for all.  Thank you to Senator Wishart and all the senators who helped bring LB 989 to my desk.”


Governor Ricketts was joined at the signing ceremony by Senator Wishart, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, and representatives from the Alliance of Automobiles, and the Nebraska Innovation Campus.


“Transportation and communications technology are evolving at a rapid rate and many cities, states, and institutions are already pursuing driverless technology to stay competitive,” said Senator Wishart.  “I am thrilled that with the passage of LB 989, Nebraska has now opened our doors to this innovative technology.”


“This legislation will go a long way in reducing the more than 30,000 roadway fatalities on U.S. roads,” said Amy Brink, vice president of state affairs for the Alliance of Automobiles.  “It identifies Nebraska as a leader in AV policy and shows the rest of the country that the Cornhusker State is open for business and ready to help foster this life-saving technology.”


LB 989 creates a statewide policy authorizing the use of automated driving systems and driverless-capable vehicles.  With a federal exemption, automated-driving-system-equipped vehicles may operate on any road in the state with or without a conventional driver physically present in the vehicle.  The bill authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to title and register automated-driving-system-equipped vehicles and driverless-capable vehicles if the vehicle has been granted an exemption from the federal motor vehicle safety standards by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  If a conventional driver is present, they are required to hold a valid operator’s license.  The vehicle must follow all the rules of the road.  Automated vehicles may also be used for network transportation, including ride sharing and public transportation.


In the event of a crash or collision, the automated-driving-system-equipped vehicle is required to stay at the scene of the incident and comply with existing laws for motor vehicle crashes.  LB 989 includes a provision that clearly states the act does not require the state or any political subdivision to plan, design, construct, maintain, or modify any road for the accommodation of automated vehicles. 


LB 989 has received the support of Uber, Tesla, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.