Google self-driving car Flickr/Dave Schumaker

The California Department of Motor Vehicles says it has adopted regulations governing how car manufacturers can test autonomous vehicles on California roads, effective Sept. 16 this year.

The regulations set rules for vehicle testing, insurance, registration and reporting by manufacturers. Autonomous vehicles can operate without driver input, steering or control.

The new DMV requirements include: manufacturer must register the test vehicle with DMV, provide verification of completed previous autonomous vehicle testing under controlled conditions, manufacturer must use qualified test drivers who completed a training program and obey all provisions of the state vehicle code, test drivers must sit in the “driver’s seat” and be capable of immediately taking control of the vehicle, manufacturer must report to DMV any accident involving a test vehicle or any situation where the autonomous technology disengages during operation and the manufacturer must maintain $5 million insurance or surety bond.

Rules governing public operation of autonomous vehicles are currently being developed by DMV and are expected to be adopted by Jan. 1, 2015.

More information can be seen at www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/autonomous/auto.htm.

©2014 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)