Cars Without A Human Behind the Wheel

Look no hands

42 companies are now registered with some 285 autonomous vehicles being tested now, and over 1,000 drivers are specially trained and registered to supervise those autonomous vehicles while they're on the road. The technology is still being developed.

It has been a long time coming but driverless cars could finally be on public roads in June of 2018.

The release of the revised regulations on Wednesday marks the start of a 15-day comment period from the public. "Today's action continues the department's efforts to complete these regulations by the end of the year". Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit of Google parent company Alphabet Inc, along with Ford, Tesla, Apple, General Motors and others filed comments in April with California suggesting changes.

California law requires the DMV to work on regulations to cover testing and public use of autonomous vehicles, and the regulator said that this is the first step.

That distinction is held by Florida, which remains "the only state to expressly allow a truly driverless vehicle", according to Law360.

The state clarifies how manufacturers must notify local authorities before testing and cedes development and enforcement of safety standards to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Under the new rules, autonomous cars without a human driver will need a "minimal risk condition", basically a "safe mode" that the auto can default to if the autonomous sensors or computers fail.

"Responsibility for motor vehicle safety resides at the federal level", said Brian Soublet, the DMV's chief lawyer.

With the new revised regulations, California drives a bit farther down the road for autonomous vehicle testing, but it's not alone.

In addition, companies must prove the vehicles can only operate autonomously in places it was created to, and they must furnish the DMV with all sorts of information about how the vehicles react to various issues that may or may not be programmed into the car's computers.

It's worth noting that self-driving trucks (or any autonomous vehicle weighing over 10,000 lbs) will still require a human behind the wheel. These annual reports have been critical to understanding the state of autonomous vehicle technology, Consumer Watchdog said.

Currently, 285 self-driving cars are being tested on California roadways by 42 permit holders, majority auto manufacturers or technology companies, according to the DMV. Just a couple days ago, Uber put out a video showing how the supervision process works, and how its drivers are specially trained to take over control from the computer if needed.

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