DMV Adds Rules for Testing Self-Driving Vehicles

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Newly-Approved Drop-Off Sites should Ease Traffic near SchoolsSACRAMENTO-

The California DMV has announced their adoption of regulations on how car manufacturers can test self-driving cars on California roads starting on September 16th, 2014.

The regulations set rules for vehicle testing, insurance, registration, and reporting by the car makers. Currently, the rules only address manufacturer testing requirements, and do not have rules in place for the cars being used by the public. Rules that allow the public to use these cars are expected to be in place by January 1st, 2015.

Under the new rules, car manufacturers must obtain a testing permit from the DMV and comply with permit requirements when testing autonomous vehicles on California roads. DMV requirements for manufacturer testing include:

  • Manufacturer must register the test vehicle with DMV
  • Manufacturer completed previous autonomous vehicle testing under controlled conditions
  • Manufacturer uses qualified test drivers who complete a training program and obey all provisions of the Vehicle Code.
  • Manufacturer test drivers sit in the driver seat and are capable of immediately taking control of the vehicle
  • Manufacturer reports to DMV any accident involving a test vehicle or any situation where the autonomous technology disengages during operation
  • Manufacturer maintains $5 million insurance or surety bond.

There is more information avaiable on the new rules and regulations, along with more information about the process here.

Greg Cotta filed this report.

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