We all know that autonomous vehicles are on their way, and we've been wondering what the laws surrounding them will look like. In the case of an accident, who is liable for damages? How much is the person sitting and doing nothing behind a steering wheel expected to do and oversee? Now the California DMV has opened up the roads to autonomous cars in development. Companies can register 10 vehicles and 20 drivers for $150 for one year.
The driver must also be in the drivers seat when the vehicle is operating on public roads, and must be able to take control of the car at any moment. Sadly, this means that you can't just tell the car to take you to San Diego and to wake you once it has arrived. Manufacturers are also required to obtain $5,000,000 in insurance to cover any potential problems relating to its testing activities.
Drivers need to take a defensive driving course, have been a licensed driver for three years, not been found at fault for an accident that ended in injury or death, completed an autonomous driving training program, and not been found guilty of a DUI in the last ten years.
We think this is a good steap towards allowing autonomous vehicles on the road.