Starting in 2018 California may allow self driving cars to not have steering wheels

Under newly proposed California self-driving car rules, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles will let companies test autonomous vehicles that lack the steering wheel. Three years ago Google’s self driving car project (now Waymo) introduced a self driving car with no steering wheel.

Once the cars have been tested either on a closed track or through computer modeling, self-driving cars will be able to tool around California roads without drivers or even the ability to be driven by a driver.

Prior to this, autonomous vehicles had to have a driver sitting ready to take charge at any second should anything go wrong.

Instead, manufacturers will now have to submit an application, certify there’s a communication link to the vehicle, provide a copy of their plans for any interactions with local law enforcement, create a training program for remote operators and get a safety assessment letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In a shift, companies will no longer have to get permission from the jurisdiction where they plan to test the cars but instead simply notify them in writing.

The proposed regulations were published Friday and the public now has until April 24 to comment on them. The new rules could take effect in 2018.

The proposed regulations to establish a path for the testing and deployment of fully autonomous vehicles in California were published on March 10, 2017 and began the 45 day public comment period. The DMV will hold a public hearing in Sacramento to gather input on the proposed regulations on April 25, 2017.

The proposed regulations to establish a path for the testing and deployment of fully autonomous vehicles in California were published on March 10, 2017 and began the 45 day public comment period. The DMV will hold a public hearing in Sacramento to gather input on the proposed regulations on April 25, 2017.

SOURCES- California DMV, USA Today, Google, Waymo, Youtube

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