California is on its way to becoming the second state to establish comprehensive self-driving vehicle regulations.
The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles released a proposed set of regulations on Friday that would govern the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. The policy would allow for testing of driverless vehicles as well as establish a structure to buy and sell self-driving cars.
The regulations are more lenient than previous drafts, allowing manufacturers to self-certify their vehicles rather than the originally suggested third-party certification, and do not require manufacturers to have previously held a testing permit to sell vehicles.
“These rules protect public safety, promote innovation and lay out the path for future testing and deployment of driverless technology,” said Brian Kelly, California Transportation Agency secretary.
Michigan was the first state to enact legislation that would allow for extensive testing and commercialization of autonomous and driverless vehicles, with Gov. Rick Snyder signing legislation into law in December.
Other states, including Maryland, Illinois, Georgia and Tennessee, have also been considering autonomous vehicle legislation, though they’ve run into opposition from tech companies and other parties over stipulations that could potentially exclude them from participating.
California has laws in place governing the testing of self-driving cars. They require companies to register for a testing permit in the state and have a human operator behind the wheel at all times. The DMV’s proposal would revise the current regulations, allowing for further development and commercialization of the technology.
The agency said it formulated the suggested regulations after receiving input from manufacturers, regulators and consumer advocates in September. The agency will begin receiving comments on the policy on Friday and hold a public hearing on April 25.