California Makes It Easier for Companies to Test Their Autonomous Vehicles



/ 2 weeks ago

California is already one of the best places in the world to test self-driving technologies, and it appears that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has decided to make it even easier for tech companies to do so by unveiling a brand new set of proposed regulations. Current regulations state that human drivers need to be behind the wheel at all times during autonomous vehicle testing, but the new rules dismiss this particular requirement, which was holding back some tech titans. Moreover, the cars in question won’t have to be equipped with pedals and steering wheels if they’re not necessary, which makes sense.

Michigan issued a similar set of rules in December, and by doing the same, California gets to keep its status as an autonomous vehicle-friendly state. Furthermore, according to the president of automotive consulting firm The CarLab, Eric Noble, the state had to implement these rules at some point anyway, because keeping steering wheels and pedals inside the cars would hinder the progress of self-driving technologies. Companies will still need to obtain permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration if they want to put their cars on California’s public roads, and while the new rule set will not be implemented immediately, it will likely become the norm by the end of the year.


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