California DMV eyes altering regs to allow testing of completely driverless vehicles

Autonomous cars without backup drivers could come to California roads before June

Autonomous cars without backup drivers could come to California roads before June

The proposed language would also allow for the vehicles to be operated on California streets once testing is complete and the car companies have certified that they are safe and in accordance with federal safety standards, the agency official said. With the release of the state's newly outlined regulations comes the 15-day public comment period.

However, they've done so with one major caveat; that a human must be behind the wheel and ready to take over in case of emergency. We're just now seeing the start of Level 3 self-driving car systems from Audi in the 2019 A8, and it's unsure if that system will be even be available due to nation wide regulations when it goes on sale late next summer.

"This amendment was necessary because requiring the technology to be 'both remote and on board' could be unnecessarily limiting on the development of the technology; changing it to 'and/or' provides the flexibility that the technology can reside either entirely, or partially, on or off-board", the DMV said of the rule changes.

"All entities that meet Federal and State law prerequisites for testing or deployment should have the ability to operate in the State". This proposal also states that companies no longer need approval from local governments whenever they are planning to run their autonomous cars in a particular area. "Under the Trump administration approach, automakers can glance at the [federal] policy and say, 'That's nice, ' and then do whatever they want as they use our roads as private laboratories and threaten highway safety".

According to the DMV, presuming that it will happen, developers are testing hundred of prototypes driverless cars that will begin unveiling those cars on the roads of California. Compliance is voluntary, and California's deferring to the federal rules will weaken safety protections for people using roads. And operators will be required to report to the state when some technological upgrades are made, such as a change in the level of automation.

The California rules could still conflict with proposed federal legislation that would largely bar states from regulating autonomous vehicles.

Still, Wednesday's announcement puts California on the verge of finalizing rules for public access which were due more than two years ago.

Google and Uber, who develops a fleet of self-driving cars, are examples of the companies which following the revisions closely.

Although some companies have experimented with cars that lack a steering wheel or pedals, those kinds of advances likely are several years beyond the first models.

But the federal government has offered only guidelines, not rules, on self-driving cars, failing to ensure public safety, advocacy group Consumer Watchdog said Wednesday.

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