DMV california proposes regulations for testing and future deployment of fully autonomous vehicles

15 March, 2017

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has recently released proposed regulations to establish a path for testing and future deployment of fully autonomous vehicles without drivers.

“These rules expand our existing autonomous vehicle testing program to include testing vehicles where no driver is present,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “This is the next step in eventually allowing driverless autonomous vehicles on California roadways.”

The proposed regulations were published in the Office of Administrative Law’s California Regulatory Notice Register on March 10, 2017, and mark the start of a 45-day public comment period, which ends April 24, 2017.

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The proposed regulations address public safety concerns while recognizing the potential of autonomous technology to improve safety, enhance mobility and encourage innovation.  The proposed regulations:

  • Recognize that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is vested with the authority to develop Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and enforce compliance with safety and performance standards for motor vehicles. DMV is requiring certification to meeting these federal safety standards.
  • Establish a framework for testing without a driver.
  • Identify requirements that a manufacturer must meet in order to sell, lease, or otherwise make their vehicle available outside of a testing program.
  • Address other key topics related to autonomous vehicle deployment, including driver licensing and responsibility, vehicle registration, and advertising of autonomous vehicles.
    To gather public input on the regulations, the department will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in Sacramento.

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