California goes ahead with plans to allow fully autonomous cars

In March 2018, the Department of Motor Vehicles in California, the USA, announced the adoption of regulations outlining the conditions under which autonomous vehicles could be tested and operated on public roads without a safety driver on board. Since the announcement, the Arizona fatal accident involving a self-driving car has lead to many public debates about the safety of these vehicles. But Californian authorities have decided to proceed with the implementation of the new regulations, and they are ready to issue permits for fully autonomous vehicles to be tested on public roads. To obtain such a permit, the cars have to meet certain strict conditions ranging from security measures to prevent or resists cyber-attacks, to two-way communication between the vehicle and a remote operator. These permits can be released starting 2 April, when the regulations mentioned above enter into force. However, despite the fact that dozens of companies in California work on self-driving cars, it is reported that only one of them has so far applied for a permit for testing fully autonomous vehicle.

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