The California DMV had predicted they'd be ready for automakers to start testing driverless cars on public roads in April, and started accepting applications on the 2nd of the month. The new rules also allow testing vehicles without steering wheels, foot pedals and mirrors. Waymo is actually the second company to apply for driverless testing in California. The DMV confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle that two have submitted appropriate paperwork (the first applied earlier this month), but declined to identify either.
In place of a backup driver, the DMV would require companies to link their test vehicles to remote operators, who could take over in the event of an emergency. Back in March, Arizona's governor opened up driverless car tests in the state, and notably won't require the same wired-in operators waiting to step in. It should be noted that in the fatal crash involving an autonomous Uber car just weeks later, a test driver had been behind the wheel.