AM Alert: California Jump-Starts Discussion On Self-Driving Car Rules

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Department of Motor Vehicles begins to take public input on draft regulations released in December

With dozens of manufacturers pushing to get self-driving cars onto the road, California has grappled for the last several years to craft rules that protect public safety without hindering the development of a potentially life-saving technology.

When the Department of Motor Vehicles finally unveiled draft regulations in December, they significantly slowed the timeline for public availability of autonomous vehicles until the state is confident that they are safe. Most notably, the agency included a requirement that the cars have a steering wheel and a licensed driver ready to take over if they fail.

The DMV is set to hold one of two workshops to get public input on the draft, including training and privacy rules, starting at 10 a.m. at the Harper Alumni Center at Sacramento State.

Consumer Watchdog will be outside the venue at 9:30 a.m. to highlight failures of self-driving cars that have emerged during the testing process. The group’s leaders argue that the vehicles need a human driver behind the wheel and plan to testify in favor of the draft regulations.

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