California DMV regs pave the way for public self-driving cars

California is removing its most controversial driverless car rule

California is removing its most controversial driverless car rule

"A special permit is still required to deploy, creating regulatory uncertainty and raising concerns about the ability of autonomous vehicles to cross state lines", it said.

Although self-driving cars have been testing in California since 2014, many believe state regulators relaxed self-driving auto regulations because other states like Florida, Michigan, and Arizona have much fewer rules and limitations on autonomous vehicle testing. 42 companies are now registered with some 285 autonomous vehicles being tested now, and over 1,000 drivers are specially trained and registered to supervise those autonomous vehicles while they're on the road.

In Arizona, Uber and Waymo have been giving rides to passengers in driverless cars without permission.

The DMV is trying to balance safety and technology development.

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The proposed rules would also allow companies to introduce self-driving vehicles that can be used by the general public. Many safety experts believe that robot cars will prove far safer than human drivers.

Soublet reported that the CA DMV will attempt to submit its final regulations following this comment period to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) by the end of the year and that the new regulations are expected to become effective by June 2018, contingent on legal approval by OAL.

"The new California DMV proposal wrongly relies on the federal government, when there are absolutely no Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards applying specifically to autonomous vehicle technology", said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director. "We continue to require that a manufacturer ... certify that the vehicle will operate safely".

The new rules represent a compromise with automotive and technology companies, which had objected to numerous requirements previously proposed by the state.

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Wade Newton, a spokesman for trade group the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said Wednesday it appeared that California had recognised that "certain onerous" requirements could delay deployment of self-driving technology.

California's first move to regulate self-driving cars came with the release of draft regulations in 2015 that prohibited full autonomy - a backup driver was required in case of problems with the technology.

The Senate version of the proposed law would not allow large driverless trucks. The new regulations should be in force sometime next year, although it may take a while after for companies to build out fully autonomous cars that comply with the new regulations.

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