Driverless cars with no human assistant behind the wheel could hit the nation’s streets as soon as next summer, if not earlier. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to purchase a fully autonomous car, or use it as a taxi.
The technology is not finalized and it’s still being tested. Fully autonomous cars may appear next June, but they’ll pick up riders only for free rides.
The Department of Motor Vehicles indirectly made the announcement when it proposed new regulations and kickstarted a 15-day comment period. The new rules will be final by the end of the year and approved early next year.
The DMV did not set a timeline for the deployment of the cars, but the most likely date is June 2018. The deployment of robot cars could be sooner if regulations are going into effect sooner than estimated.
Industry Claims California Laws Are Too Strict
The first to see the autonomous cars on the roads are Californians. In the Golden State, driverless cars are allowed on the roads but while being assisted by a human driver. That applies to fully autonomous cars too. The industry has criticized those rules for being too strict.
The technology’s supporters claim that states with laxer regulations are a magnet for driverless car makers. Florida, Arizona, and several U.S. states are testing the technology even though in some cases. there is no regulation at all.
DMV said the new regulations strive to reach a balance between technological advancement and safety even though car makers claim that driverless cars can have faster reaction times than human drivers.
“Vehicle safety is the wheelhouse of the federal government,”
a spokesperson for the DMV said.
He added that every car maker is still required to certify its products to ensure they operate safely.
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