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Autonomous Car Companies Look to Alter California's Driverless Regulations

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【Summary】Multiple self-driving car companies like Uber, Ford, Lyft, Toyota, Apple, Tesla, Waymo and more submitted comments to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles in the hopes of changing the state’s autonomous rules.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 04, 2017 9:00 AM PT
Autonomous Car Companies Look to Alter California's Driverless Regulations

California, more specifically Silicon Valley, has become the go-to location for companies and automakers to test their self-driving cars. There are various reasons as to why that is, which mostly have to do with the type of talent and technology companies that are located in the area. Just two weeks after getting the go-ahead from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Apple was spotted testing its driverless vehicle in the area.  

While numerous automakers and companies choose to test their vehicles in the area, a lot of them don't agree with the state's rules on self-driving vehicles. Last year, California put forward a few proposals that would set mandatory rules in place for companies looking to test self-driving cars in the state. The new rules included requiring autonomous cars to be fitted with a vehicle data recorder, having a year of autonomous testing before applying for an operating permit in the state, and more. 

Driverless Companies Continue To Fight Back

As one would expect, these new rules were met with objections from various tech companies, as they claimed it could delay the release of self-driving technology. Well, several technology companies and automakers are going after California's DMV in the hopes of changing some of the state's autonomous policies, reports CNET.  

The host of organizations, which include Lyft, Uber, Ford, GM, Apple, and Tesla, submitted comments on their take on the state's proposed autonomous vehicle regulations. The comments, which you can read here, ranged from allowing paying customers to get a ride in a driverless car to stating when a driver should have to resort to taking control of the car, reports CNET

The DMV told the outlet that it is currently looking over all of the comments that were made and if finds that changes to the new regulations need to be made, it will do so by holding a 15-day period for public comment. Organizations, like the ones named above, and individuals will be able to weigh in during the 15-day period. 

What Apple Wants Changed

As CNET points out, Apple had problems with the way the new regulations explained when a driver has to take control of the driverless vehicle. According to the American technology company, the proposed metric that the new regulation plans to use doesn't make consumers comfortable with the tech, as it needs to be more transparent. The correct metric, according to Apple, should incorporate data from traffic violations and accidents that were successfully prevented, claims CNET

Apple also wanted disengagement to be defined differently. The tech company wants the word to mean "an unexpected event or failure that requires the safety driver to take control of the vehicle in order to prevent a crash or traffic violation," states CNET. Since California currently requires companies and automakers to report how many times a human had to intervene when behind the wheel of a driverless vehicle, Apple would like that figure to have some more context, instead of looking like numerous software mistakes. 

Apple is also looking to change the way development vehicles and testing without a safety driver are defined. With numerous organizations and companies looking to make changes, it'll be interesting to see if California's regulations continue forward unscathed.

via: CNET

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