Car and technology companies are now just a few years—possibly even a few months—away from launching commercial services built around driverless cars. And state regulators are facing pressure to get ready by clarifying the rules of the road for fully autonomous vehicles.
On Wednesday, California published new draft rules that give us our clearest look yet at how the driverless car industry will be regulated in California. The new rules, which are subject to a 15-day public comment period before they become final, address a wide range of issues. But perhaps the most significant change is that the new rules formally recognize that companies will be deploying fully driverless vehicles, not just testing them.
That means it will likely be legal to operate commercial taxis with no driver in California as soon as next year.