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Wednesday Oct 19, 2016

Self-driving cars: Regulators to hear arguments from auto-industry and skeptics

Self-driving cars: Regulators to hear arguments from auto-industry and skeptics

Self-driving cars are inevitable, but while technological advancements excite some people it makes others very afraid. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is going to hold a hearing today (Wednesday) to hear arguments from both, representatives of companies developing self-driving cars and those who are skeptical of the technology.

At present self-driving cars are only in the prototype stage with many of the major automobile manufacturers working on their projects. Some have even begun testing their prototypes on the roads and advocates predict the vehicles could be ready for the masses within the next two years.

The California DMV will rule on how the general public can use self-driving cars once the manufacturers are ready to go public.  The regulations being discussed have been written after years of going back and forth since the technology they will govern is still so new.

Currently for those manufacturers testing their prototypes the regulations rule that a person must be sitting in the driving seat lest the technology falter.

When the DMV released its draft regulation last year it demanded the same; that a licensed driver be sitting in the driving seat of a self-driving vehicle.

For those who imagine a future where self-driving cars have no pedals and no steering wheel, such regulations came across as a bit of a disappointment.

It remains to be seen how projects like MoralMachine, improved autonomous decision making by driverless vehicles and the many prototypes being developed by major automobile manufacturers impact the final regulations.


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