Self-driving vehicles, which were once relegated to the realm of science fiction, may now only be a few years away. Various automakers have put together semi-autonomous vehicles that can assist a driver as they go about their commute, while Google has been busy putting together test miles for vehicles that can purportedly drive of their own accord.
However, in order for such vehicles to achieve widespread adoption, states need to provide a regulatory framework in which the cars can function. California lawmakers have been some of the first to achieve this framework, and the Los Angeles Times has released a new report focused on their latest efforts.
Rules that could be finalized by spring 2014 have reportedly been put together by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Basically, the rules would provide guidance to the types of tests that the automobiles would need to go through before they could be introduced to the market.
This puts California ahead of Florida and Nevada, two other states that have begun the process of introducing autonomous vehicle regulation. The DMV’s rules provide benchmarks in terms of how safe the vehicles have to be, how the results are compiled and reported, and what type of insurance issues would need to be sussed out.