How do you give a driverless car a ticket?

How do you give a driverless car a ticket?

Gov. Brown Signs Legislation At Google HQ That Allows Testing Of Autonomous VehiclesThe Department of Motor Vehicles in California is scratching it’s collective head on how to regulate vehicles that rely on computers and not people to drive them.

The Federal government is years away from developing regulations for autonomous vehicles and California says it is concerning about developing regulations that could be substantially different to other states, leaving a patchwork of rules that businesses and consumers will hate.

Driverless vehicles could be available commercially by 2020. Already Google has tested a fleet of sensor equipped driverless Prius and Lexus vehicles in California, logging up many thousands of kilometres. Other automotive manufacturers are doing likewise.

Regulations that governed how companies could test the technology were worked through by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and these could be finalised soon.

The stumbling block from initial discussions with stakeholders at a meeting on integrating driverless vehicles onto public roads, appears to be data privacy, and the capability of the owners to use and control them effectively.

Non profit Consumer watchdog says the cars must not become another way to track the daily lives of people. Googles representative however offered no comment on the privacy issue.

Consumer watchdog called Google out, saying the company rebuffed attempts to add privacy guarantees when it pushed the 2012 legislation mandating rules on testing and public operation of driverless cars.

Googles director of safety for the self driving car project, Ron Medford did have a comment about the operation of the vehicle, he felt that manufacturers should certify the safety of their driverless vehicles, not the state of California because it would become too complicated.

DMV lawyer Brian Soublet asked the assembled stakeholders who would ensure that owners would know how to use the technology safely, would the onus be on the, owner, dealer or the manufacturer?

One manufacturer present at the stakeholder discussion, Mercedes-Benz, made the comment that the DMV could test owners on basics such as starting and stopping automated driving.

For the moment the testing regulations strike a balance between public safety and private sector innovation says the DMV. Google and the car manufacturers argue if the rules become too onerous, development of the driverless car will be stifled.

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