California’s proposed DMV rules for driverless cars could change in the wake of federal guidelines

“You can imagine how the California DMV would be struggling, with no technological background or engineers at their disposal, trying to figure out whether a particular autonomous vehicle is or is not safe enough to be deployed,” said Robert Peterson, a law professor at Santa Clara University.

“I expect they will conform their guidelines to the federal guidelines and probably [breathe] a great sigh of relief that they are now off the case,” he said.

Jean Shiomoto, director of the California DMV, confirmed as much. Shiomoto said during a panel discussion Monday that the agency does not have the “expertise on staff” and has relied on NHTSA for guidance and expertise in autonomous vehicle research.