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Transportation United States

California DMV Changes Rules To Allow Testing and Use of Fully Autonomous Vehicles ( 120

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is changing its rules to allow companies to test autonomous vehicles without a driver behind the wheel -- and to let the public use autonomous vehicles. From a report: The DMV released a revised version of its regulations and has started a 15-day public comment period, ending October 25, 2017. California law requires the DMV to work on regulations to cover testing and public use of autonomous vehicles, and the regulator said that this is the first step. "We are excited to take the next step in furthering the development of this potentially life-saving technology in California," the state's Transportation Secretary, Brian Kelly, said in a statement. California's DMV took pains in its announcement to highlight that it wasn't trying to overstep the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has the final say on developing and enforcing compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Rather, the California regulations, are going to require manufacturers to certify that they've met federal safety standards before their cars become (driverlessly) street legal. And manufacturers still have to obey the state traffic laws written for California.
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California DMV Changes Rules To Allow Testing and Use of Fully Autonomous Vehicles

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  • by IApeFatCashews ( 5116421 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2017 @01:00PM (#55350503)
    I would love to see autonomous vehicles navigate a California parking lot during the holiday shopping season.
    • Clearly neither your nor the other morons commenting here live in CA. It isn't like that here. People are generally calm and not irate. It probably has to do with the weather and the avocados.

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        I'd actually rate California drivers about average, though it varies a lot from place to place. They are certainly better than the drivers I remember from Japan about 40 years ago. But they aren't as courteous as the drivers I remember from Madera, CA about 45 years ago.

        My guess is that the denser the traffic, the less courteous the drivers are...with idiotic exceptions. For example, while I was living in Madera I was waiting for the school bus in a fog so dense you couldn't see your hand in front of your

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Yes, they better test that in 2017!

  • Of all the places I've driven, Los Angeles was the most fun. Hills, twisty highway ramps, and long stretches of road to gun it and relax on. Once driverless takes hold it'll be sad to see that excitement fade away, but great helping the traffic problem.

  • Liability (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XXongo ( 3986865 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2017 @01:10PM (#55350579) Homepage
    What I'm more interested in here is, has California codified who has liability for accidents involving self-driving cars?
    • meaning it'll fold at the first sign of trouble leaving you high and dry. That would probably be fine if we had a proper healthcare system (most folks could survive losing a car) but well, their governor just vetoed a single payer bill...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well that'd be a first for California. They've been doing their own thing for years especially with automotive regulations.

    And why bother? Just call the car "Undocumented" and then none of the rules apply.

  • So, presumably a human will not need a driver license for such a vehicle. Thus we can expect children, drunks, and senile seniors to travel freely. Somehow that seems worrisome for reasons other than traffic safety.

    But, again, the first buyers will likely be 'ride hail' companies, and rent-a-car businesses. Children without an approved account will be stuck at home. Legislation is likely to manage their use as well.

    The security of the rented vehicle will be a concern. Cameras will be on to record (and charg

    • Thus we can expect children, drunks, and senile seniors to travel freely.

      If they have the permission of the vehicle's owner, why not?

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson