Sacramento, CA — On April 2, the California DMV will relax some of the rules for testing driverless vehicles.
Notably, it will no longer be a requirement that autonomous cars have a person in the driver’s seat to take over in the event of an emergency. The revised rules require manufactures to be able to operate the vehicle remotely, and be able to communicate with law enforcement, or other drivers, in the event something goes wrong, like a crash.
DMV Director Jean Shiomoto is touting the change, saying, “This is a major step forward for autonomous technology in California. Safety is our top concern and we are ready to begin working with manufacturers that are prepared to test fully driverless vehicles in California.”
Proponents of driverless technology have argued that this type of vehicle would be less susceptible to crashes from things like driver error. However, opponents argue that uncertainties regarding the new technology, alone, pose a risk to other drivers.
Under the revised regulations, vehicle manufacturers will need to obtain a driverless testing permit from the DMV and let local authorities know where the driverless testing will take place.
Companies like Google, Uber, Toyota, Ford and Volvo all have autonomous vehicle projects underway.