"It could be sooner than that, but it's all contingent on when the regulations are approved", said Soublet.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on Wednesday released a revised version of proposed regulations that establishes a path for testing and public use of driverless- that is, completely unmanned - vehicles. "Under the Trump administration approach, automakers can glance at the [federal] policy and say, 'That's nice, ' and then do whatever they want as they use our roads as private laboratories and threaten highway safety".
California's change in tack comes as other states build momentum with looser regulations.
Companies would still need a California permit to test or deploy vehicles on state roads.
A full copy of the proposed changes is available on the California DMV website.
Traditional automakers and Silicon Valley upstarts are trying to teach cars to drive in different ways, but all agree cars which don't drink, text, fall asleep or drive erratically can save thousands of lives lost to crashes.
California was among the first states to explicitly legalize the testing of prototype self-driving cars on public roads.There are currently 42 companies testing 285 autonomous cars on California roads, according to the DMV.
California regulators took an important step Wednesday to clear the road for everyday people to get self-driving cars. The new rules do not, however, relax prohibitions against testing autonomous vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA outlined some of its newly-revised regulations on automated driving systems guidance in a Sept. 12 statement.
The delay reflects both the developing nature of the technology as well as how the federal government-which is responsible for regulating the safety of the vehicles-has struggled to write its own rules. Before approval of those, the regulations will be made subjected to the public comment period, which will be ending by October 25 and then will be submitted to the enforcement of the State Government.
Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google parent company Alphabet Inc, Ford Motor Co, Tesla Inc, Apple Inc, General Motors Co had sought changes in California. "For example, no data suggests that experience in vehicle manufacturing is an indicator of the ability to safely test or deploy vehicle technology".
Consumer Watchdog criticized the revisions, saying California should stick to its earlier, stricter state requirements.Consumer Watchdog criticized the revisions, saying California should stick to its earlier, stricter state requirements.
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