With Driverless Pilot Program In The Works, California Races To Create New Rules Of The Road

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With autonomous-vehicle enterprises fanning out across the nation, California is rushing to deal with the less sexy side of driverless transportation: regulation.

The California Public Utilities Commission is set to vote soon on a self-driving vehicle pilot program, and ahead of that, it’s sorting through what Wired calls “some of the thorniest questions about driverless taxi services”:

What’s the safest way to roll them out? How should you regulate a technology that’s not “finished,” and never will be? What does the public need to know?

So far, it looks like the commission doesn’t want companies involved in the pilot to charge for rides or provide service to or from the airport. Shared rides also would be verboten. And participating vehicles would have to undergo 90 days of road testing before carrying passengers. That’s on top of the data companies would need to provide during the pilot.

As Wired points out, California is leading the way on regulating this new industry. Other states will be taking careful note of the laws that emerge. Read more here.