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California DMV eyes altering regs to allow testing of completely driverless vehicles

California DMV eyes altering regs to allow testing of completely driverless vehicles

The proposed bills would also preempt states from establishing their own laws overseeing autonomous testing, which could clash with California's well-established system.

The new rules are expected to take effect by June 2018, the state said.

That requirement could be removed away next year, although of course there would still be plenty of restrictions and safeguards in place - the roads of California won't suddenly become clogged with fleets of empty self-driving vehicles, and interested companies will still have to apply for road space and permits.

The DMV's new language follows a previous look at the regulations in March, where discussion of driver intervention was also a consideration.

The new rules also allow passengers to ride in a self-driving car just as long as they are not being charged for it. This prevents companies like Uber and Lyft from running autonomous taxis in the state.

California's change in tack comes as other states build momentum with looser regulations. The Congress is currently working closely to legislation that would allow companies to produce and deploy driverless cars in the roads. The department released its revised regulations today governing the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

The Associated Press reports that this is the same approach to normal cars meant to have humans behind and in control of the steering wheel.

The DMV said the draft rules, allowing fully computer-controlled driver-free vehicles onto Cali's public roads for the first time, are part of an effort by the state to keep up with the technological advances made by manufacturers and developers.

California regulators took an important step Wednesday to clear the road for everyday people to get self-driving cars.

The new regulations are a marked change from the DMV's previous stance on autonomous vehicle testing.

Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google parent company Alphabet Inc, Ford Motor Co, Tesla Inc, Apple Inc, General Motors Co had sought changes in California.

The federal government will continue to set safety standards for automobiles, while the state's role is to make sure vehicles traveling on state highways conform to federal standards, the DMV said.

The state is not changing its prohibition on the testing of autonomous trucks, arguing that a separate rule-making process will be needed to allow for the testing of self-driving vehicles over 10,000 pounds.

John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog said Wednesday that California is ceding too much authority to the Trump administration.

Automakers would be able to win exemptions from safety rules that require human controls if they met certain requirements. State responsibility will focus on licensing human drivers, conducting inspections and regulating auto insurance.