Self-Driving Cars Will Soon Run On California Roads

First Posted: Mar 13, 2017 06:20 AM EDT

Top companies like Google and Uber have invested a lot of capital into the development of self-driving cars. Though the companies have successfully developed the designs, they have not yet received the official license from government agencies to run them on public roads. The decision was based on the safety concerns associated with the concept of human-less driving. However, there seems to be a significant change in the outlook of federal and state governments towards the same.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has proposed new regulations, as opposed to the ones released in December 2015 that self-driving cars will now be allowed to run on public roads. This decision will help in testing the safety and efficacy of the newly develop driver-less cars by Uber and Google, which were earlier forced to conduct these tests outside the state due to the regulations imposed in 2015, reported.

Furthermore, the new regulations have made a careful mention on the elimination of human drivers and the temporary steering wheels, if the company deems it to be completely unnecessary. Earlier, the DMV insisted on getting third-party consultation and approval before the cars can be tested on roads, while the new rules indicate that company self-certification is enough to allow the self-driving cars to be tested for public usage. However, the company has to provide an elaborate safety assessment report to the authorities before it will claim that its car is fit to be tested on public roads without the need of a human driver.

According to Engadget, the proposed modifications in the existing rules are similar to the recently formulated federal policies. The tech companies have welcomed this decision. Eric Noble, president of CarLab, an automotive consulting firm, said that the decision is both "necessary and timely."

The implementation of the new regulations are subject to public review and comments and a public hearing. The proposed guidelines will be open for public response after April 24, and it is expected that the new rules are likely to come into effect by the end of the year.

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