California facing calls to allow testing of heavy-duty autonomous trucks

A group of autonomous vehicle developers and business leaders is calling on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to revisit rules prohibiting large trucks with autonomous driving capabilities from public testing in the state, arguing California stands to reap both environmental and economic benefits of the emerging technology.

In a letter to Newsom earlier this week, dozens of autonomous vehicle developers, logistics firms and others urged the governor and the California Department of Motor Vehicles to begin a rulemaking process to allow heavy-duty self-driving trucks to be tested and eventually deployed on public roads. Signees include Waymo, TuSimple, Gavit, Uber Freight, UPS, Embark, Volvo and others.

Since 2019, California has allowed light-duty autonomous trucks and other vehicles to be tested and used for commercial purposes on state roads.