Nod To Driverless Cars Shows Official View Of The State Of The Art

A limited nod to autonomous transportation services from  the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) demonstrates an official view of the state of the driverless art.

Cruise and Waymo have received permission from the DMV to charge the public for transportation in driverless vehicles.

Waymo been granted the more far-reaching authorisation of the two – being allowed to use a fleet of light-duty autonomous vehicles for commercial services within parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. 

Waymo’s vehicles are approved to operate on public roads with a speed limit of no more than 65 mph and can operate in rain and light fog.

Cruise has a more restricted licence being authorised use a fleet of light-duty autonomous vehicles for commercial services on surface streets within designated parts of San Francisco. 

The vehicles are approved to operate on public roads between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at a maximum speed limit of 30 miles per hour and can also operate in light rain and light fog.

To qualify for the authorisations, the companies had to meet a number requirements, including:

  • Identifying the operational design domain of the vehicles, as well as describing any commonly occurring restricted conditions within which the vehicles would not be able to operate.
  • Verifying the technology is capable of detecting and responding to roadway situations in compliance with the California Vehicle Code, and a description of how the vehicle meets the definition of an SAE Level 3, 4 or 5 autonomous technology.
  • Verifying the vehicles meet federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or have an exemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Certifying the manufacturer has conducted test and validation methods and is satisfied that the autonomous vehicles are safe for deployment on California public roads.
  • Developing a Law Enforcement Interaction Plan that provides information to law enforcement and other first responders on how to interact with the autonomous vehicles.
  • Providing evidence of insurance or a bond equal to $5 million.

Authorisation is also required from the California Public Utilities Commission.

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