California Approves Rules for Self-Driving Cars to Hit Roads in 2015


By: Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has adopted new regulations that will take effect in September allowing vehicle manufacturers to test self-driving cars on public roads. The state is also developing guidelines for the public’s use of the cars, which are expected to be ready in 2015.

The rules came after a series of proposals and a period of public comment. They are very similar to those Google already has in place for their cars, including applying for a permit, providing a minimum of $5 million in insurance, and requiring a trained driver in the driver’s seat who would be ready to take the wheel at all times. The driver must carry an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program Test Vehicle Operator Permit, which can be obtained after an advanced defensive driving program. The state is also requiring the report of any accidental disengagement of the self-driving system, providing an early warning of any potentially dangerous design flaws.

Small and large vehicle manufacturers alike are pursuing this technology, with Audi the most aggressive. Nissan had previously promised self-driving cars by 2020 and Tesla said they would be developing the technology as well.

Do you think self-driving cars are a good idea or a bad idea?


  1. mocanu andraJuly 25th, 2014 at 1:25 am

    In my opinion, self-driving cars aren’t a very good idea,because the guiding system they have could have a malfunction,which could be uncontrollable by the driver, no matter how experimented he could be, risking a huge accident, or even worse. Driving itself is a pleasant activity. Why throw it away? It’s fun to have control on something that will not comment your decisions!

  2. Joshua D'AmatoMarch 2nd, 2015 at 4:51 am

    In response to the comment above. More and more car manufactures are making cars with many main systems controlled by computers and have been doing this for years. These systems include steering, brakes, and gear transmission. You are actually controlling less of your car than you think. If the computer malfunctions then your steering or brakes may not work the way that they were supposed to. The thing is though that this never really happens. Its not going to be like the car will blue screen and go out of control. To make sure it wont do that is surely one of the tests.

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