The California Department of Motor Vehicles is changing its rules to allow companies to test autonomous vehicles without a driver behind the wheel — and to let the public use autonomous vehicles.
“We are excited to take the next step in furthering the development of this potentially life-saving technology in California,” the state’s Transportation Secretary, Brian Kelly, said in a statement.
California’s DMV took pains in its announcement to highlight that it wasn’t trying to overstep the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has the final say on developing and enforcing compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. California has had rules in place for driverless vehicles since 2014. As of now, 42 companies hold permits to test autonomous vehicles on California roads, the DMV said.