DMV forced to make rules for Google's car

June 23, 2013 8:04:16 PM PDT
Google's self-driving car has logged thousands of miles on California roads.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a law allowing the vehicles to operate in California more than a year ago. State leaders are playing catch-up and writing a whole new set of rules for the road.

California's Department of Motor Vehicles is trying to catch up with technology. The agency has to come up with regulations addressing self-driving cars, like the one google is developing.

"We need to take baby steps. We need to make sure these vehicles can operate safely," said Bernard Soriano from the DMV Autonomous Vehicle Project. "When these vehicles get into an accident, who's going to be liable?"

The touchy subject of privacy has many concerned. The software used is recording information to make the driverless vehicles operate.

"What exactly is that information? Where is it being stored. Who has access to that information? How is it being used," said Soriano.

Silicon Valley companies, the car industry, and the public have begun telling DMV what rules of the road they would like to see. Techies are concerned about over-regulation stifling innovation

"We have a lot of computer technology in cars already. It doesn't always work right. There are often problems," said Rosemary Shahan of the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety.

Rick Hodgkins, who relies on public transportation, is excited about the prospect of autonomous cars being available for blind people.

"In general, it would just save me time," said Hodgkins.

By law the DWV has to have the regulations in place by the end of 2014.


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