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Driverless Cars Could Hit California Roads Next Year

By Monica U Santos , Mar 11, 2017 03:00 AM EST
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Just over a year ago, California Department of Motor Vehicles (CDMV) released a draft that would regulate the kibosh on autonomous cars without a human driver. The issued paper includes the Google’s steering wheel-less prototype that was released a year ago. Today, the same agency reversed itself, setting out the proposed rules that would allow regulating the manufacture and sale of fully driverless vehicles.

Driverless Cars Could Hit California Roads In 2018

California is one of the well-known cities around the world and it is back on the map as a state that’s welcoming driverless cars. According to Los Angeles Times, the vehicles with literally no human behind the wheel and no steering wheel at all will hit California streets as well as highways starting in 2018. The CDMV regulations already lay out a clear way for the "future deployment of autonomous vehicles” in California.

The California government has licensed a total of 27 companies to test each of the driverless vehicles on public roads. The vehicle manufacturers include BMW and Tesla Inc, suppliers like Delphi Automotive Plc and Nvidia Corp, tech giants such as Alphabet Inc's Waymo and China's Baidu Inc. Aside from that, a long list of self-driving startups is also included such as the Zoox, AutoX, Drive.ai and PlusAI. The China-funded electric vehicle startups including NextEV and Faraday Future have also received a license.

Driverless Cars Requirements By The CDMV

Bernard Soriano, the deputy director at CDMV said that all the companies who are testing the driverless cars will be needed to comply with the national safety standards. Each automaker should certify that their autonomous cars can adhere to the California traffic laws and ordinances. “If you program your vehicle to obey the law, it’s not going to run over pedestrians or crash into other automobiles.”

According to Fortune, driverless cars must also have a remote operator who can monitor the vehicle's operation as well as communicate with any passengers. Many automakers said they are planning to begin deploying self-driving vehicles by 2020-2021. However, starting Friday, California will initiate a 45-day public test period on the proposed rules, then followed by a public release on April 25.

 

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