California proposal says self-driving cars must have driver behind wheel

Posted at 1:52 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 13:52:24-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California regulators say self-driving cars of the future must have a licensed driver behind the wheel, at least until the technology is proven safe.

The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles unveiled precedent-setting draft regulations Wednesday. They will help frame how regulators elsewhere give consumers access to the cars.

Though no manufacturer has said the cars are ready yet, the most aggressive suggest a model could be ready within a few years.

California’s proposed rules will slow the public deployment of the cars. They are subject to public comment and will not be final for months.

The DMV has struggled with how to know the technology is safe — before letting it move beyond the current testing of prototypes on public roads. As a result, the regulations are nearly a year overdue.