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Revised DMV Regulations May Allow Testing Driverless Cars In California

By Kim Barloso , Oct 02, 2016 06:22 PM EDT
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A revision on the draft regulations of the state of California sees a possibility for autonomous cars of freely roaming its roads. The Department of Motor Vehicles released a new document on Friday which stated that self-driving cars will be allowed without human drivers as long as "federal officials deem them safe enough."

The revision comes after the federal government decided to let the Department of Transportation oversee the regulation of self-driving vehicles, CNBC reported. The 116-page policy requires manufacturers to submit a detailed description of their systems, as well as follow a 15-point safety assessment.

In response to this policy, the DMV has revised its earlier stance on driverless cars. The revised DMV document states that a two-way communication must be present at all times between the autonomous car and its tester.

The document also lists the requirements for acquiring a license to become an autonomous vehicle test driver, which includes undergoing a training program.

California is one of the first states to issue regulations for autonomous vehicles, as it is the home of the Silicon Valley. The state currently has 15 companies with permit to test autonomous vehicles with a licensed driver on board. With the newest revision, the state might be the first to see a truly autonomous vehicle without a passenger, pedals or breaks.

Tech companies like Apple and Google have expressed disappointment over earlier motor regulations requiring a driver inside a self-driving car. In a statement following the ruling, Google said that they were "gravely disappointed that California is already writing a ceiling on the potential for fully self-driving cars to help all of us who live here."

With the new policy being rolled out, it is evident that the government is open to giving the autonomous vehicle industry a chance to serve its purpose while ensuring that it is not a threat to public safety.

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