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News Link • California

Major Taxi Disruption on Horizon: California Driverless Cars by April

•, by Mike Mish Shedlock

California is way behind Arizona when it comes to driverless cars but the state wants to catch up. The DMV seeks rules changes, and if approved, Driverless Cars Without Standby Human Assistance may happen in April.

Regulations have been under review since Jan. 11. If they are approved, the DMV must post a public notice and 30 days later could issue permits to any of the 50 companies that are testing such vehicles right now. By April 2, then, autonomous vehicles could curve down San Francisco's crooked Lombard Street without a driver behind the wheel.

The proposed regulations require companies to notify local authorities if they plan to test vehicles in a city, and a "communication link" must be maintained between the vehicle and a remote operators. The companies must also certify the vehicle is capable of operating without the presence of a driver and notify California Highway Patrol of a "law enforcement interaction plan" that will be available for first responders.

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