California releases revised version of regulations for autonomous vehicles


The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the US has released a revised version of proposed regulations for the creation of a new path for testing and public use of autonomous vehicles.

The revised regulation will allow testing of autonomous vehicles on the public roads without a driver, as well as the use of vehicles equipped with autonomous technology for the public.

Under California law, Vehicle Code 38750, it is mandatory for the DMV to develop regulations that cover testing and public use of such vehicles.

California Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly said: “We are excited to take the next step in furthering the development of this potentially life-saving technology in California.”

As per the proposed regulations, the motor vehicle safety responsibility resides at the federal level, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is authorised to develop and enforce compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).

"We are excited to take the next step in furthering the development of this potentially life-saving technology in California."

The vehicle manufacturers are required to ensure that the vehicles being tested or deployed are in accordance with the federal safety standards.

They should also certify their vehicles are designed to operate in compliance with state traffic laws.

The transport department released the first version of regulations in March this year and is said to have received feedback from manufacturers, consumer advocates, local governments, insurance companies, and other stakeholders.

The revised regulations include the feedback, as well as NHTSA’s newly released guidance in this area.

DMV director Jean Shiomoto said: “The department looks forward to seeing those companies and additional companies advance the technology under these new regulations.

“Today’s action continues the department’s efforts to complete these regulations by the end of the year.”

To date, 42 companies are permitted to test autonomous technology on Californian roads.