TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – A bill going to the floor of Florida’s House would allow self-driving vehicles to operate in the state without a human backup driver.

The House State Affairs Committee overwhelmingly approved the bill Thursday. Republican sponsor Rep. Jason Fischer said he wants Florida to be ahead of other states in allowing the vehicles on state highways as the technology continues to develop.

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The bill paves the way for companies like Uber and Lyft to deploy fleets of the cars without a driver.

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And if a person is behind the wheel of a self-driving car, he or she would be exempt from laws banning texting or watching television while driving if the automated driving system is engaged.

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