Mark the date: California's roads could see driverless cars by June 2018.
A revised proposal by the California Department of Motor Vehicles updated its terms for driverless vehicles operating within state lines.
A new amendment brings driverless cars closer to the road by removing the requirement for a human backup driver.
Also, it deemphasizes the need for automakers to notify local officials of the "operational design domain" of its autonomous vehicles or a rundown of all instances where the car reverts to human-controlled from its self-driving setting.
A motion by the U.S. Senate last week also approved a bill to allow self-driving cars to operate without a human. Other amendments include a raised registration fee (currently $150 a year for a permit)
"We consider that we've always been the leader in the testing of these vehicles," said Brian Soublet, California DMV's deputy director and chief counsel, on a conference call. Although some states have may have moved faster to ease rules, "all indicators are it's continuing to grow in California."
At the moment, California has close to 300 self-driving cars by 42 auto and tech companies that have been licensed to run on public roads. It is competing heavily against known self-driving friendly states such as Arizona, Michigan, and Florida to become the number one testing ground for self-driving vehicle technology.
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