Driverless cars may start cruising the California streets without anyone behind the wheel. Sounds legit…
Even though there seems to be stories left and right of self-driving cars involved in crashes due to user error, California is taking steps to make fully driverless cars a reality. One step closer to making Minority Report a reality, we guess.
Reuters is reporting that California’s public utility regulator just announced it wants to allow driverless cars to transport passengers without the need for a backup driver in the vehicle. This is a huge leap forward for automakers looking to intensify production of self-driving vehicles as well as develop the technology behind it.
The California Public Utilities Commission, which is in part responsible for regulating transportation companies with ride-hailing apps, issued a proposal that outlined a clear path for autonomous car tech companies. The proposal essentially allows companies like Google’s Waymo and General Motors to give people rides in self-driving cars without any backup drivers at the wheel.
Earlier in the week, the California Department of Motor Vehicles began allowing driverless cars testing without drivers with extra protections for passengers.
High Risk, High Reward?
The proposal will be voted on next month and if passed will allow autonomous car companies to do more testing and make this tech more readily available to the public. California has been known for its watchdog-like view on autonomous driving in the public, so this is a big step forward as a whole.
The proposal also laid out rules requiring companies hold a driverless cars testing permit from the DMV for at least 90 days before beginning to pick up passengers. Service also has to be free, available to anyone over the age of 18, and not taking any trips to and/or from the airport.