Driverless Cars Can Ditch Training Wheels in April

The California DMV approved the use of driverless cars without humans, but with communication links.

The first day that Uber rolled out self-driving cars, the San Francisco Examiner found footage of one running a red light.

Come April 2, we’ll be bracing for more artificial intelligence trials and tribulations thanks to California’s approval of truly self-driving cars — that is, ones without an approved driver behind the wheel as a backup. The state’s DMV announced Monday that the Office of Administrative Law approved testing and public use of driverless cars.

To maintain the testing permit, companies must have a communication link between the self-driving car and its remote operator, plus with law enforcement. They must also submit a law enforcement interaction plan and notify local authorities of testing in their cities.

Cars for public use will have to certify that it’s equipped with a data recorder, plus technology that responds to road obstacles and cyber-attacks.

The regulations exclude autonomous trucks and other commercial cars.

The DMV’s first set of testing regulations took effect in September 2014, which required a driver behind the steering wheel. The agency has issued permits to 50 companies, from tech companies like Apple Inc. to long-standing car manufacturers like Ford.


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