California will make it easier for automakers and tech titans to test their autonomous cars in the state, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles of the state. California is currently the autonomous car industry hub. That provides support for the industry but it also has some laws that somewhat holds it back. DMV has proposed a set of new regulations. They eliminated the need to have a human driver present onboard while test driving. It also adds that if it’s not necessary than companies do not need to equip cars with pedals and steering wheels.
Google had to install temporary steering wheels and controls to its prototype vehicle just to test it in California. This new set of regulation will give the companies more freedom. To test their autonomous vehicles as they were intended to be used.
“The changes are necessary and timely if California wants to keep that level of development activity.They could prevent Michigan, which made autonomous vehicle trials without human drivers and physical controls legal in December, from becoming the new go-to state. [California] kind of had to do it because at some point manufacturers can’t move autonomous vehicles forward without getting controls out of cars,” – Eric Noble, president of automotive consulting firm The CarLab told Bloomberg.
This regulation doesn’t mean that the companies can unleash its cars immediately. They will need a special permit from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to do it.