California proposes changes to its self-driving cars regulations

The Department of Motor Vehicles in California, USA, is proposing new rules that would allow self-driving cars to be tested on public roads without a human in the driver’s seat. At the moment, California regulations (among the strictest in the USA) allow car companies to test autonomous vehicles with a driver behind the steering wheel, and there are 42 companies that have such permits. Under the proposed regulations, car companies would need to obtain written support from the local jurisdiction before going fully driverless, and must have a communication link to the car, and provide plans for remote operations. The proposed new rules, under public consultation until 25 October, would be in line with the legislation currently debated in the US Senate, allowing the sale of self-driving cars without steering wheels or other manual controls.