California has approved new rules which allow driverless cars without a human operator on the road. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has developed new rules over the past 3 years to allow car manufacturers and tech companies to test and deploy autonomous vehicles without a person inside the car. Previously an operator was mandated to be behind the wheel in case of an emergency, however with these new rules designers can create vehicles without a steering wheel, brake, or accelerator pedal. Manufacturers must prove to the DMV that their technology is safe and resistant to cyber attacks, but the DMV may start issuing permits as soon as April 2nd.
This is a big step forward in developing driverless cars technology and proponents have argued that self-driving cars would create new transportation options for the elderly and disabled people. The development in laws makes California the leading state in the US for the number of companies testing autonomous cars on the road, from global car manufacturers to small start-ups in Silicon Valley. Ford has also announced that it is working with food delivery services such as Domino’s Pizza and Postmates to investigate the possibility of delivering pizza, or groceries to customers.