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Autonomous Cars Without Backup Drivers Could Soon Hit The Road

Luke Jones / Flickr
 

Luke Jones / Flickr

California could soon allow companies developing autonomous vehicles to test them on public roads without a driver or even a steering wheel. New proposed rules also set a path for driverless cars coming to the public.
 
Forty-two companies are working on self-driving cars in California, and the state could soon lift a requirement for their test vehicles to have backup drivers. Brian Soublet with the California DMV says that’s part one of the new rules proposal.

“It will also allow for the first time, at least here in California, them applying to get a permit to allow the public deployment of the vehicles," Soublet says, "whether that means it’s in fleet vehicles or leasing arrangements or sales of vehicles.”

State officials will take public comment on the proposed rules for the next two weeks. It will likely be years before driverless cars make their way to the showroom of your local dealership, but officials hope to have the new regulations in place by June.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the DMV spokesperson. His name is Brian Soublet.

Daniel Potter

Reporter

Daniel Potter started out as an intern at Nashville Public Radio, where he worked as a general assignment reporter for six years, covering everything from tornadoes to the statehouse.   Read Full Bio 

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