Transportation

California Begins Accepting Applications to Deploy Self-Driving Vehicles

The California DMV began issuing permits which will allow companies that meet specific requirements to test their driverless cars on public roads without a human behind the wheel.

by Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times / April 3, 2018
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(TNS) — SAN FRANCISCO — California began accepting applications Monday for permits to deploy self-driving cars on public roads without a human backup driver at the wheel.

Recent fatal crashes by a self-driving Uber car in Arizona and a Tesla car operating in semiautonomous Autopilot mode in California have put a spotlight on safety, and on Monday the California Department of Motor Vehicles sent out a list of safety requirements that permit applicants must meet.

Among them, vehicles must:

  • Meet federal motor vehicle standards.
  • Show results from tests that simulate real-world driving.
  • Come with a two-way communications link.
  • Be incapable of being operated autonomously outside the territory or driving conditions stated on the application.
  • Hew to current industry standards to prevent cyberattacks.

Those requirements aren’t new — the DMV issued regulations Feb. 28 — but they provide a quick overview focusing on safety.

The DMV also noted Monday that under state driverless regulations, it can immediately suspend or revoke permits over practices it deems unsafe.

©2018 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.