Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Fully driverless car tests in California could start in April

But they'll need to have remote operators that can take over a car's controls.
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
February 24, 2018
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Getty Images

Automakers testing their self-driving cars on California roads might be able to go fully autonomous as soon as April, according to the state's DMV. Instead of putting someone behind the wheel to take over in certain circumstances, such as when the self-driving system isn't working as well as it should, the companies will be required to link their cars to remote operators. Those remote drivers' job is to keep an eye on multiple cars and to take over their controls if and when needed.

The automakers are allowed to hire third-party companies to handle remote operation. Some of them, though, including Waymo and Nissan, have already developed their own remote-driving technologies -- Nissan even built a monitoring center for its driverless taxi's tests, which will begin in March and take place in Tokyo.

Even if they pass on developing their own remote-driving technology, the companies will still have to comply with quite a lengthy list of requirements to be able to get approval for driverless testing. To start with, their vehicles will need to have steering wheels and brake pedals. If they want to test cars without those controls like the models GM plans to release in 2019, then they'll need to secure a waiver from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. San Francisco Chronicle said they must also state where they intend to operate, notify local authorities about it, list the instances wherein their systems may not work and conjure up a plan on how to communicate with law enforcement.

The DMV believes California's legal compliance agency will approve the new regulations by February 26th. It will welcome comments from the public starting March 1st and could start handing out permits by April 2nd. According to the DMV's website, a total of 50 companies have permission to test their cars in California, so at least few dozen giant corporations and startups are probably already preparing to secure permits under the new regulations.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Presenting the Best of CES 2021 winners!

Presenting the Best of CES 2021 winners!

View
Bloomberg: 'Cyberpunk 2077' full development didn't start until 2016

Bloomberg: 'Cyberpunk 2077' full development didn't start until 2016

View
The Morning After: Samsung revealed the Galaxy S21 series

The Morning After: Samsung revealed the Galaxy S21 series

View
Canon made a site that lets you 'take photos' from a real satellite

Canon made a site that lets you 'take photos' from a real satellite

View
ICYMI: More gadget highlights from CES 2021

ICYMI: More gadget highlights from CES 2021

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr