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  • California Drives Innovation on Autonomous Vehicles

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    California is a global leader in self-driving car technology, which has largely been developed in the labs of our universities and technology companies. Autonomous vehicle technology has immense potential to bring greater efficiency to our systems of transportation and increase mobility, as well as save lives. 
    VICA has advocated to ensure that California’s laws and regulations serve as a catalyst for continued innovation by providing a pathway to the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles for the public’s use. 

    We welcome the recently-approved Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) regulations for autonomous vehicle testing and public use. Under the new regulations, vehicle manufacturers must obtain a driverless testing and/or a deployment permit from the DMV and comply with the permit requirements, if they wish to either test an autonomous vehicle without a driver or allow the public to use their autonomous technology. 

    These rules strike a balance between ensuring safety and maintaining California’s lead in innovating transportation technology. VICA is pleased that the regulations serve to streamline and clarify the process for testing and deployment of driverless cars, including:
    • Clearly defining testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles and what each will entail; 
    • Removing the requirement that every local jurisdiction pass an ordinance approving each company’s testing and deployment and replacing it with a requirement for companies to notify and coordinate with local governments; and 
    • Extending the life of the safety testing permit from one year to two years. 
    Previously, autonomous vehicles could only be tested in California with an approved driver. To learn more, visit https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/autonomous/auto.
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