A Proposed California Law Would Require Drivers For Driverless Cars

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

California proposes rules for self-driving cars.

California, the largest car market in the United States, issued draft rules on Wednesday for self-driving cars, requiring a licensed driver inside the vehicle in case of failure in a plan that stresses safety.On Wednesday, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles unveiled draft regulations that would govern how consumers get access to self-driving cars — once they are ready for the public to use them safely.

What follows is a look at the main provisions, some of which will be the subject of concerted lobbying by automakers and tech giant Google, before the agency finalizes them. An autonomous car being developed by Google — seen Feb 2 2015 with US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx — would be barred from California roads under draft rules proposed Dec 16 because a driver can’t assume control of the vehicle. The rules, which will face a period of public comment before being finalised, set out a path to take the industry from the current stage of vehicle testing to actually rolling them out to consumers. California has been at the forefront of the fast-growing autonomous vehicle industry, fuelled by technology companies in Silicon Valley, and is one of a handful of states to have passed regulations enabling self-driving car testing on public roads.

Instead of being sold, self-driving cars could be leased for “approved deployment periods,” with performance and safety data regularly reported to the department. The proposed regulations also focused on privacy and cybersecurity, saying vehicle makers must let people know what information is collected aside from data needed for safely navigating streets. Self-driving vehicles would also need to be equipped with self-diagnostic capabilities that detect and respond to cyberattacks “or other unauthorized intrusions, alert the operator, and allow for an operator override.” Ford this week said that it has a green light to test self-driving cars in California, and should have them on roads in the most populous US state next year. The car maker officially enrolled in the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program and will begin with self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans, it said in a release.

Google – which is operating its self-driving cars on the streets of Palo Alto, California and Austin, Texas – and other carmakers and suppliers have said the technology to build self-driving cars should be ready by 2020. For the first three years of its deployment, manufacturers would need to collect safety and performance information and report that data monthly to the agency.

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