California Introduces Rules for Self-Driving Cars

As tech companies like Google continue to develop self-driving car technology, state lawmakers are working on rules and regulations to govern these vehicles. As the state where much of the testing is currently being performed, California has introduced a new roadmap to a self-driving future.

What Rules Are Being Introduced?

These new rules impact both manufacturers and potential consumers, and require these parties to obtain permits, certifications, and specialized training. In order to introduce a self-driving car into the marketplace, auto manufacturers would first need to have their safety assurances verified by an independent, third-party certifier. Once that process is completed, the DMV would have to grant a three year permit which would allow manufacturers to start leasing the cars. They would be required to monitor the cars, and report safety information to the DMV.

In order to lease one of these self-driving cars, drivers would be required to receive specialized training from the manufacturer. The DMV would then add a certification to their driver’s license, which would hold the driver responsible for any illegal activity on behalf of the car.

Will These Rules Delay Self-Driving Cars?

The DMV has claimed that manufacturers could be in compliance with the finalized rules as early as 2017, but companies like Google are not so sure. Proponents of self-driving cars claim that as many as 32,000 deaths could be prevented every year with the introduction of these vehicles, as drunk or otherwise intoxicated individuals would be able to “drive” safely. These vehicles could also help open doors for disabled individuals who are currently unable to drive.

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