SAN FRANCISCO, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released Friday proposed regulations to establish a path for testing and future deployment of fully self-driving vehicles.
In annoucing the release of these regulations, which would allow testing self-driving vehicles on public roads, DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said "these rules expand our existing autonomous vehicle testing program to include testing vehicles where no driver is present."
"This is the next step in eventually allowing driverless autonomous vehicles on California roadways," Shiomoto said in a statement.
With a 45-day public comment period starting Friday, the proposed regulations recognize that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is vested with the authority to develop Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and enforce compliance with safety and performance standards for motor vehicles, while California DMV is requiring certification to meeting these federal safety standards.
In addition, the proposed regulations seek to establish a framework for testing without a driver, to identify requirements that a manufacturer must meet in order to sell, lease, or otherwise make their vehicle available outside of a testing program, and address other key topics related to autonomous vehicle deployment, including driver licensing and responsibility, vehicle registration, and advertising of autonomous vehicles.
A public hearing has been scheduled for April 25, a day after the public comment period ends.
The DMV said it had received substantial feedback from manufacturers, consumer advocates, local government, insurance companies, and other stakeholders after it released revised draft regulations for testing without a driver and the deployment of autonomous vehicles in September 2016.
"California has more manufacturers testing autonomous vehicles than any other state and today's rules continue our leadership with this emerging technology," said California Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly. "These rules protect public safety, promote innovation and lay out the path for future testing and deployment of driverless technology. This rulemaking is the next step in working with stakeholders to get this right."