Ask a Trooper: Are self-driving cars legal in Minnesota?

Published 8:42 pm Friday, May 19, 2023

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Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Question: I was wondering, with the ads on television showing people driving with their hands off the steering wheel, is that legal in Minnesota if your vehicle has that capability?

Troy Christianson

Answer: I believe you are asking about autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, which are capable of sensing their environment and operating without human involvement.

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Minnesota law states that every driver is responsible for becoming and remaining aware of the actual and potential hazards that exist on the highway and must use due care in operating a vehicle. This would include both hands, one hand, or no hands.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.