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California is warming up to self-driving cars without a human driver
A little over a year ago, the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued draft regulations that would have put the kibosh on autonomous vehicles without a human driver, such as Google's steering wheel-less prototype. Today, the agency reversed itself, putting out proposed rules that would not only allow for the testing of self-driving cars without a human driver, but also regulate the manufacture and sale of fully autonomous vehicles. But the DMV argues that it hasn't changed its attitude about self-driving cars. As long as these robot cars are compliant with federal rules governing safety, and as long as they are “programed” to obey California traffic laws, then they are okay by California's book. Recently, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that the computer inside a self-driving car can be considered the "driver" of the vehicle. The California DMV, it would seem, is shifting responsibility to the federal government to ensure fully self-driving cars are safe and road-ready.
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