DMV Releases Proposed Rules for Driverless Autonomous Vehicles

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today released proposed regulations to establish a path for testing and future deployment of fully autonomous vehicles without drivers.

“California has more manufacturers testing autonomous vehicles than any other state and today’s rules continue our leadership with this emerging technology,” said California Transportation Agency Secretary Brian P. Kelly. “These rules protect public safety, promote innovation and lay out the path for future testing and deployment of driverless technology. This rulemaking is the next step in working with stakeholders to get this right.”

“These rules expand our existing autonomous vehicle testing program to include testing vehicles where no driver is present,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “This is the next step in eventually allowing driverless autonomous vehicles on California roadways.”

The department received substantial feedback from manufacturers, consumer advocates, local government, insurance companies, and other stakeholders after it released revised draft regulations for testing without a driver and the deployment of autonomous vehicles in September 2016.

The proposed regulations were published in the Office of Administrative Law’s California Regulatory Notice Register on March 10, 2017, and mark the start of a 45-day public comment period, which ends April 24, 2017.

The proposed regulations address public safety concerns while recognizing the potential of autonomous technology to improve safety, enhance mobility and encourage innovation.  The proposed regulations:

  1. Recognize that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is vested with the authority to develop Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and enforce compliance with safety and performance standards for motor vehicles. DMV is requiring certification to meeting these federal safety standards.
  2. Establish a framework for testing without a driver.
  3. Identify requirements that a manufacturer must meet in order to sell, lease, or otherwise make their vehicle available outside of a testing program.
  4. Address other key topics related to autonomous vehicle deployment, including driver licensing and responsibility, vehicle registration, and advertising of autonomous vehicles.

To gather public input on the regulations, the department will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in Sacramento.

Autonomous Vehicle Public Hearing

California Department of Water Resources
Auditorium
1416 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

April 25, 2017
10 a.m.

Written comments may be submitted to: LADRegulations@dmv.ca.gov until April 24, 2017.  Written and verbal comments will be accepted at the public hearing.

After the public hearing, the DMV will complete the remaining steps in the formal rulemaking process and deliver the final regulations to the Office of Administrative Law for approval.  The regulations are anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.

SB 1298 (Chapter 570; Statutes of 2012) requires the DMV to create regulations that cover both the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. The regulations to test autonomous vehicles with a driver have been in effect since September 2014.  Currently, 27 manufacturers hold an autonomous vehicle test permit.

The proposed autonomous vehicle driverless testing and deployment regulations and hearing notice are available on the DMV Autonomous Vehicles webpage at:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/autonomous/auto

CalSTA Observes Truck Platooning Demo at Port of LA

Federal, state and local government and private industry partners conducted a demonstration of partially automated truck platooning, or Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Port complex and along Interstate 110 to give partners and stakeholders a first-hand experience of this rapidly maturing technology that could enhance safety, increase system capacity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Courtesy of Trucks.com

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The technology, developed by the University of California, Berkeley Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH), in coordination with Volvo Group of North America’s platooning activities, was demonstrated as trucks drove the freeway safely in closer proximity than usual by using forward looking sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle communication to maintain automated speed and spacing.

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The demonstration simulated “real world” conditions as three big-rig trucks drove 50 feet apart at speeds of 55 miles per hour while towing cargo containers, similar to those that shuttle between the port and industrial centers throughout Los Angeles County. Radar detected vehicle cut-ins by a staged vehicle to demonstrate how it handles traffic.

The CACC project is being developed by the PATH program and Volvo Group under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration Advanced Research Program, and Caltrans. Other project partners include Cambridge Systematics, Inc., the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Gateway Cities Council of Governments.

Additional coverage of the demo can be found:
Trucks.com
LA Daily News

Governor Brown Takes Action to Repair Transportation Infrastructure

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With extreme weather putting increasing stress on California’s roads, bridges and flood control system, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a series of immediate and longer-term actions to bolster dam safety, improve flood protection and fix the state’s aging transportation and water infrastructure.

“Recent storms have pounded the state of California resulting in a dam spillway eroding, roads crumbling and levees failing,” said Governor Brown. “Our aging infrastructure is maxed-out. We can take some immediate actions – and we will – but going forward we’ll need billions more in investment.”

Recent storms have not just damaged the state’s flood control system; they have also hammered the state’s roads and bridges. During the storm season alone, Governor Brown’s emergency declarations have enabled the California Department of Transportation to begin more than $595 million in repairs to the state’s roads and bridges damaged by erosion, mud and rock slides, sink holes and flooding.

Beyond the current storm season, California faces a broad array of transportation infrastructure challenges: $59 billion in deferred maintenance on highways and $78 billion on local streets and roads. To fix these roads and bridges, Governor Brown and legislative leaders are currently working to meet the goal they set to complete a transportation funding package by April 6.

Following up on his commitment to work with Washington, D.C. to invest in California’s infrastructure, Governor Brown sent a letter to the President today seeking expedited environmental review under Presidential Executive Order 13766. This request covers 10 projects: nine high-priority transportation projects and reconstruction of the Oroville Dam spillways.

Today’s request to the President includes projects on the initial list of 51 priority infrastructure projects, which California submitted to the federal government earlier this month. The Brown Administration is reviewing additional projects to submit for expedited review.

For more information on today’s additional actions: https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19696

Winter Storms Continue to Impact Transportation Infrastructure

More than 4,000 Caltrans employees are working 24/7 to repair state roadways impacted by recent storms and destabilized soil. Every region in California has been impacted by the winter storms.

There has been an estimated $401 million in storm damage to the state highway system at 190 locations. The stress placed on the state highway system by extreme weather continues to underline the need for stable sources of transportation funding to maintain California’s  aging roads.

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State Route 49 from Yuba Pass to Sattley was closed in both directions when a section of highway slid away during February storms. Caltrans hopes to open one lane of the highway on February 17, 2017, weather permitting. Photo courtesy of Caltrans 

Meteorologists are predicting storm systems to impact California beginning Thursday and by Monday, the state may receive three to eight inches of rainfall, and snow levels could drop as low as 5,000 feet in Northern California.

Crews are currently working to restore full access to the following roadways; however, an estimated time of reopening is unavailable due to the incoming storm:

  • State Route 1 near Leggett in Mendocino County has been closed since February 3 due to an active slide. Cleanup to reopen the highway has been slow due to the instability of the slide and concern for worker safety.
  • S. Highway 50 in El Dorado County is closed from Pollock Pines to Strawberry for about 20 miles due to multiple active mudslides. The first slides occurred Feb. 10 and were cleared but several other slides have occurred. Caltrans has five large excavators, four loaders, 25 semi-trucks, one paver and one grinder working to clear the roads. Crews are hoping to have U.S. Highway 50 open by Feb. 16.
  • Crews are working to restore State Route 37 between U.S. Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue in Marin County.
  • Northbound State Route 17 Sugarloaf Road in Santa Cruz County is closed due to a mudslide.
  • Westbound Interstate 80 is closed at the Nevada State line due to a landslide.

The recent storms have also affected rail and freight movement; below are a few of the major routes affected:

  • Union Pacific Fresno Sub South of Elk Grove is out of service due to derailment on February 10, 2017.
  • Union Pacific Sub above Oroville is out of service due to washouts, rockslides and flooding.
  • Heavier than usual freight traffic over the Martinez subdivision between Oakland and Sacramento is leading to significant delays to Amtrak trains.
  • The Coast Starlight is cancelled between Redding and Sacramento, however, trains are running from Redding to Seattle, and Sacramento to Los Angeles.

Caltrans anticipates additional closures with the new storm systems; motorists should check road conditions frequently. For the latest road condition information, the radio may be tuned to the Caltrans Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) at 530 AM, 1610 AM or 1670 AM or call the Caltrans Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623). Real time conditions are also available online and for mobile phones at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

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U.S. Highway 50 in El Dorado County is closed from Pollock Pines to Strawberry for about 20 miles due to multiple active mudslides.  The first slides occurred Feb. 10.  Some locations were cleared, while others have developed.  Caltrans has five large excavators, four loaders 25 semi-trucks, one paver and one grinder working to clear the roads.  Crews are hoping to have US-50 open by Feb. 16. Photos courtesy of Caltrans and CHP 
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State Route 1 at Cow Cliffs on February 12, 2017.  Photo courtesy of Caltrans.
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Flooding on State Route 37 between U.S. Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue in Marin County. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

For more winter operation photos visit: http://dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter-storms-2017/

https://calstablog.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/transportation-agency-departments-crews-work-around-the-clock-during-winter-storm/

California announces initial list of priority infrastructure projects ready for funding

Working with local cities, counties, and regions, California put forward an initial list of priority infrastructure projects today to the National Governor’s Association for consideration by the federal government. These key projects represent over $100 billion in targeted investments around the state. These investments will build and improve roads, levees, bridges, ports, and train and public transit systems. The total list also includes water storage and recycling projects, as well as energy, military, veterans and emergency operations facilities and services.

In the short-term, these projects will benefit businesses up and down the state and put thousands to work -many in communities with the highest rates of unemployment. Long-term, this investment will have lasting, expansive economic benefits by moving goods and people faster, protecting vulnerable communities from flooding, bolstering emergency response capabilities, saving and storing more water and improving energy reliability.

To prepare for the future – and complement federal investments – California is doing its part by working on legislation to ensure a permanent and sustainable funding stream is in place to further support road, highway and other critical infrastructure construction and improvements – part of a I0-year transportation investment plan.California is home to one out of every eight Americans and when we build in California, we build for America.

Find the list of projects here: http://gov.ca.gov/docs/CA_Infrastructure_Letter_and_Projects_2.7.17.pdf

Transportation Agency Departments’ crews work around the clock during winter storm

From mudslides to fallen trees to white-out conditions, Caltrans crews and the California Highway Patrol were out in full force to get drivers back on the road safely during this intense winter storm.

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Heavy rain and snow fell over the 7 day period, leading to overflowing rivers and harsh conditions in the Sierra. Gusting winds knocked down trees across the state, including the world-famous General Sherman sequoia. Throughout the storm, local CHP and Caltrans offices provided the public with the information in real-time while crews worked around the clock clearing the roads. These remarkable visuals show the hard work these agencies do to keep California’s roads safe and clear in the harshest of conditions.

I-80 Snow Removal

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A herd of goats was stranded during the storm on a highway. Luckily, CHP was there to help herd them back to safety.

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Roads closed on State Route 299

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Crews working to relieve flooding on State Route 97 in Siskiyou County

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The snowpack on Highway 50 over Echo Summit.

Clearing a mud slide on SR-29

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Conditions changed dramatically in 12 hours on State Route 269 in Fresno County, crews cleaned up the road and the next morning flooding wiped it out.

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An I-80 exit near Colfax was washed out in the storm.

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Caltrans crews getting a fallen tree of Highway 1 in Big Sur.

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The view of flooded State Route 269, north of Fresno.

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A large scale slide in the Sierra on Highway 49

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Another large mudslide blocking two lanes of State Route 1 near Leggett

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Snow Removal on  I-80 at Donner Pass

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A landslide on State Route 1 between Stinson Beach and Bolinas

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A sinkhole developed on Highway 128 in Yolo County

Work continues to get storm-damaged roads back open again. Another storm system is forecast to begin Wednesday and continue through Monday. Stay updated on road closures by following CHP and Caltrans on Twitter.

For winter driving tips: http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html And remember, you can check Caltrans QuickMap for a real-time, zoom-able California map of current traffic conditions including lane closures, CHP incidents, changeable message signs, chain controls, video cameras and more.

We thank our hard workers at Caltrans and CHP for their tireless efforts across the state.