The Department of Motor Vehicles in California has recently discussed a new set of proposed rules regarding the regulation of future self-driving cars. This rattled some companies who have heavily invested in the new technology and they did not hesitate to express their concerns regarding some of the discussed rules.
California’s DMV debated implanting the guidelines published the previous month by the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA). Although the report suggestions are only voluntary, California has shown the intention to apply stricter regulation while still allowing self-driving cars to operate.
This decision arose concerns for different future producers of self-driving cars like Ford, Google, Honda, and Volkswagen. All the mentioned companies have a current license to test their vehicles on roads of California if and only if as the cars have a qualified driver behind the wheel to intervene in various situations.
In total, 18 companies can test their self-driving cars in California. Many companies were attracted by the strong technology industry and the fact that California is one of the most populated states in the US means that any future cars must meet the state’s stricter regulations as the standard for even a national release.
The companies mainly objected to a rule that requires producers to submit testing for up to a year regarding the disengage module from autonomous to manual driving before the car would be allowed to be deployed in the state. The coalition of automakers has stated that this type of rule translates into a huge delay for implementing true autonomy features in a car. Both regulators and automakers, as well as any independent studies, have concluded that autonomous cars could lead to a huge decrease in car accidents, as over 92 percent are caused by persons and not technological errors.
Not all the proposed rules by California’s DMV were restricted or met with resistance by automakers. Others just involved more frequent security updates, while some had serious privacy implications.
A spokesperson for the DMG has stated that the state authorities are willing to reevaluate their proposed rules and entertain any reasonable suggestions. The current proposed rules are certain to change either in favor or disfavor of the automakers, depending on the public opinion of how safe the self-driving cars are.
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