Idaho Startups

Idaho To Become A Safe Haven For Self Driving Cars

What some might consider an unlikely city, “everywhere else”, has just become a safe haven for startups and corporations looking to create something in the self driving car space. Sure there are areas in California where you can work on technology like this, but Boise Idaho will soon become a major staple for the self driving car industry.

This is all thanks to a bill introduced in the Idaho state legislature by Senator Bert Brackett. “The Department of Commerce has been very encouraging on this. They see it as an economic development opportunity. It’s a chance for Idaho to be on the ground floor, if you will, on development and testing of this kind of technology.” Brackett say.

Brackett and the Idaho transportation committee worked with entrepreneurs and startup community leaders Nick Smoot and Josh Hartung. Smoot is the founder of local co-working space, the Innovation Collective, while Hartung leads a software company in the autonomous car business.

“If this passes, we will be without a doubt the most attractive state for autonomous car startups,” Smoot said, adding Coeur d’Alene will be the most attractive city due to last year’s passage of a local ordinance encouraging the use of robotics in the city.

“In the other states that allow autonomous vehicles there are some substantial barriers to entry,” Smoot told . “We want to make Idaho viable for startups and the small guy.”

Under Idaho’s legislative process the newly introduced bill should go up for hearing later this week or early next week reports KTVB-TV. 

If the bill is passed, Brackett hopes that the state legislature can work on rules and regulations for testing of driverless vehicles all in the interest of public safety. After that though, it’s game on in attracting very forward thinking startups and companies that often come with several jobs and other economic stimuli.