The rules are still subject to a period of public commentary before any approval, Reuters noted on Wednesday. Companies would also have to pass certifications, including third-party testing, and submit regular reports to the DMV for three years, while also obtaining approval to collect any data beyond safety systems.
Although imposing demands on carmakers, the rules are also meant to set out a firm direction for testing self-driving technology. The DMV’s data will be used to guide future regulations.
At the moment 11 companies have permits to test the technology on California roads, all of which are already required to have human backups.
Any regulations will almost certainly affect Apple, which is believed to be working on a self-driving carfor release in 2019 or 2020. Although Apple is likely to test in secrecy for as long as possible, any practical product will have to be put through government evaluation and real-world driving conditions, exposing it to the public early on.