California to allow true driverless cars next year
Posted on October 18, 2017
Never afraid to take risks while pushing ever forward, California has apparently given the green light for true driverless cars from 2018. The American state has said it will be changing its rules to no longer require a human driver to be present in autonomous vehicles.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has signalled that it will be revising the regulations around autonomous vehicles for next year. One aspect of that will be the removing of the requirement of a human driver.
Currently, all autonomous vehicles have to have a human present able to take over should something go wrong. All vehicles also have to have human controls including a steering wheel, pedals and gear selector. From next year, those requirements will be no more. Autonomous vehicles will be able to be tested and driven in the state with no human on board and without requiring a steering wheel or human controls.
In return for these freedoms, companies using the state to test their vehicles must inform the California Department of Motor Vehicles when the vehicles will be present on the road. There is also a stipulation that any incident must be reported and any future changes to the vehicles must also be reported in advance of them being used on the road.
California is already a hotbed of autonomous testing thanks to the acceptance of authorities to allow them on the road. As far as I know, there are currently no vehicles capable of being truly driverless as yet but that will change after these rules come into force. Especially as Nvidia have announced their new Drive PX platform that enables Level 5 automation.
It seems the drive towards being driverless is continuing apace. I am still not sure how I feel about this as I enjoy the act of driving. Until things such as dealing with cyclists or horses and how mixed driven and driverless cars will interact, I think I shall keep my present car.
Have any thoughts on driverless cars? Love the idea? Hate the idea? Let us know your thoughts below.