The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) requires a Street Use permit to conduct the testing of autonomous vehicles.
This permit requires that autonomous vehicles may only be tested in Seattle if there is a human driver in the vehicle who is monitoring and ready to take control if the need arises.
Companies testing autonomous vehicles must also follow all statewide legal requirements and other permit requirements which are listed below.
Autonomous vehicles are currently being tested in many cities around the country. In some places like California and Arizona, this testing is regulated at the statewide level. In other areas, like Seattle, Boston, and New York City, there are statewide laws as well as local city requirements for testing autonomous vehicles.
SDOT strives to balance innovation with appropriate guidelines to keep the traveling public safe as testing occurs on Seattle’s streets. SDOT is committed to employing best practices and engagement as we continue to develop our approach to autonomous vehicle testing.
This permit is only required for companies that are testing heavily modified vehicles equipped with customized hardware, sensors, and software to research and develop new self-driving technologies.
You are not required to obtain a permit if you are an individual who purchased your car through a car dealership or directly from a manufacturer. While an increasing number of vehicles for sale now offer some automated features, no vehicles currently available for sale in the United States are fully automated or self-driving.
Zoox, Inc. (Permit Record: SUPSM0008281)
NVIDIA Corporation (Permit Record: SUPSM0008475)
Companies applying for a permit to test autonomous vehicles in Seattle will be required to provide the following:
These requirements will help to create a safer transportation environment and to manage public streets in a way that enriches public life and improves community health. This encourages innovation while keeping safety in the forefront. The requirements allow SDOT to gain a better understanding of autonomous vehicle operations so that we can plan for a future where fully autonomous vehicles are part of our transportation system.
If you are a member of the public with questions or an autonomous vehicle test company interested in obtaining a permit, please contact the SDOT Automated Mobility team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623
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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.