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
1416 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

April 25, 2017
10 a.m.

Written comments may be submitted to: 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:


CA DMV Seeks Public Comment on New Rules for Autonomous Vehicles

Sacramento – Continuing progress toward operation of fully autonomous vehicles on California roads, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released revised draft regulations for public comment.   These draft rules are intended to encourage public dialogue and gather input prior to the DMV formally submitting the regulations for consideration and adoption.

The recently released Federal Automated Vehicles Policy sets a direction for addressing vehicle safety at the federal level, and California’s revised draft regulations take this new policy into account and focus on rules for California public roads,  including testing requirements, enforcement of traffic laws, driver licensing, and vehicle registration.

In addition to carefully reviewing all public feedback on previous draft regulations, the DMV actively collaborated with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators on the state’s role in regulating autonomous vehicles.

The revised draft regulations continue to ensure that the safety of the motoring public remains the DMV’s top priority and recognizes the potential of autonomous technology to improve safety, enhance mobility and encourage innovation.  Some highlights include:

  1. Prior to testing or deploying an autonomous vehicle, manufactures will certify that they meet NHTSA vehicle performance guidance for automated vehicles, which uses a 15-point safety assessment.
  2. A regulatory framework for driverless vehicles that provides a path for fully autonomous vehicles to first be tested and operated on California roads.
  3. A licensed driver is required for vehicles capable of autonomous operation in some instances, but a human driver must be ready to take control when requested by the autonomous system, these are also known as “SAE Level 3 vehicles.”
  4. Prohibits the advertisement of lower levels of automated systems, where the human driver is still responsible for monitoring or control of the vehicle, as “autonomous”, “self-driving” or other similar terms.

These revised draft regulations represent the next step in the process to encourage public dialogue and collect feedback prior to the DMV formally submitting the regulations for consideration and adoption. To gather additional public input on the proposed changes, the Department is holding a public workshop Wednesday, October 19 in Sacramento.  In addition, representatives from NHTSA will discuss the recently released Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.  The DMV invites all interested parties to attend the upcoming public workshop.

Autonomous Vehicle Public Workshop

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
9:30 a.m.
California State Capitol
Senate Committee Room 4203
1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Written comments may be submitted to:  The event will also be open to credentialed media.

The revised draft autonomous vehicle deployment regulations and workshop notice are available on the DMV Autonomous Vehicles webpage at:

CA welcomes Federal Automated Vehicle Policy

California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian P. Kelly issued this statement on Federal Automated Vehicle Policy:

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the State of California share the common objective of seeing driverless vehicle technology developed, tested and deployed safely and efficiently on our public streets and roads.  NHTSA’s policy guidance unveiled today is a leap forward in this process, enabling California to advance vehicle safety, innovation and sustainability in the Golden State.  With more than 3,200 traffic-related fatalities and more than 90% of accidents attributed to human error in this state, it is time to unleash the promise of autonomous vehicles to improve public safety. Within the next 30 days, the Department of Motor Vehicles will host a public workshop to gather input from industry, consumer and public interest groups, and the public on revised draft state regulations for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles in California.”

The California Department of Motor Vehicles also issued a statement, below:

“The DMV welcomes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) release of the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy. The DMV worked closely with NHTSA and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) on the model state policy contained within the document. The DMV supports NHTSA’s goal of creating a consistent approach and national framework for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles.

The DMV is currently reviewing NHTSA’s Federal Automated Vehicle Policy and is planning to release revised draft California regulations in the coming weeks. The department will hold a public workshop to solicit input on those revised draft regulations on October 19, 2016.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
9:30 a.m.
Capitol Room 4203
1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

 Read the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy here:

For more information on the California DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations, visit:


Statement from Secretary Brian Kelly on Proposed $4 Billion for Automated Vehicles and Initiatives to Accelerate Vehicle Safety Innovations

SACRAMENTO—Today, United States Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced President Obama’s proposal of nearly $4 billion for automated aehicles and DOT initiatives to accelerate vehicle safety innovations.

“This is great news,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary, Brian Kelly. “We welcome this bold step by the Obama Administration. California looks forward to partnering with NHTSA to encourage innovation that will make our streets and roads safer.”

The announcement from the United States Department of Transportation is included in whole below:

Thursday, January 14, 2016
Contact: DOT Press Office
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

Secretary Foxx Unveils President Obama’s FY17 Budget Proposal of Nearly $4 Billion for Automated Vehicles and Announces DOT Initiatives to Accelerate Vehicle Safety Innovations

DOT actions revise existing guidance and clear administrative hurdles for new automotive technology

DETROIT – In his last State of the Union address, President Obama signaled his intent to invest in a 21st century transportation system. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today revealed part of the president’s proposal: a 10-year, nearly $4 billion investment to accelerate the development and adoption of safe vehicle automation through real-world pilot projects.

Secretary Foxx also announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation is removing potential roadblocks to the integration of innovative, transformational automotive technology that can significantly improve safety, mobility, and sustainability. Secretary Foxx made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where he was joined by leaders in technology, executives of traditional auto manufacturers, and newcomers to the industry.

“We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people,” said Secretary Foxx. “Today’s actions and those we will pursue in the coming months will provide the foundation and the path forward for manufacturers, state officials, and consumers to use new technologies and achieve their full safety potential.”

The President’s FY17 budget proposal would provide nearly $4 billion over 10 years for pilot programs to test connected vehicle systems in designated corridors throughout the country, and work with industry leaders to ensure a common multistate framework for connected and autonomous vehicles.

Secretary Foxx also unveiled policy guidance that updates the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2013 preliminary policy statement on autonomous vehicles. The new guidance, released today, reflects the reality that the widespread deployment of fully autonomous vehicles is now feasible.

“NHTSA is using all of its available tools to accelerate the deployment of technologies that can eliminate 94 percent of fatal crashes involving human error,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “We will work with state partners toward creating a consistent national policy on these innovations, provide options now and into the future for manufacturers seeking to deploy autonomous vehicles, and keep our safety mission paramount at every stage.”

DOT is committing to the following milestones in 2016:

  • Within six months, NHTSA will work with industry and other stakeholders to develop guidance on the safe deployment and operation of autonomous vehicles, providing a common understanding of the performance characteristics necessary for fully autonomous vehicles and the testing and analysis methods needed to assess them.
  • Within six months, NHTSA will work with state partners, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, and other stakeholders to develop a model state policy on automated vehicles that offers a path to consistent national policy.
  • Secretary Foxx encouraged manufacturers to submit rule interpretation requests where appropriate to help enable technology innovation. For example, NHTSA responded to an interpretation request from BMW confirming that the company’s remote self-parking system meets federal safety standards. Click here to read this interpretation.
  • When interpretation authority is not sufficient, Secretary Foxx further encouraged manufacturers to submit requests for use of the agency’s exemption authority to allow the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles. Exemption authority allows NHTSA to enable the deployment of up to 2,500 vehicles for up to two years if the agency determines that an exemption would ease development of new safety features.
  • DOT and NHTSA will develop the new tools necessary for this new era of vehicle safety and mobility, and will consider seeking new authorities when they are necessary to ensure that fully autonomous vehicles, including those designed without a human driver in mind, are deployable in large numbers when they are demonstrated to provide an equivalent or higher level of safety than is now available.

Under Secretary Foxx’s leadership, the Department has been working to transform government for the 21st century, harnessing innovation and technology that will improve people’s lives. In 2015, Secretary Foxx refocused the national dialogue about the future needs of our transportation infrastructure by releasing Beyond Traffic, a report examining the challenges facing America’s infrastructure over the next three decades. This draft framework has already influenced decisions by elected officials, planners, and stakeholders nationwide.

Secretary Foxx has also energized DOT’s embrace of innovation to help solve these challenges. In December 2015, the Secretary launched the Smart City Challenge, a national competition to implement bold, data-driven ideas that make transportation safer, easier, and more reliable in that city. He also worked to accelerate the Department’s efforts to incorporate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology into new vehicles.

More information on the President’s budget proposal will be forthcoming.

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DMV Releases Draft Requirements for Public Deployment of Autonomous Vehicles

State Seeks Public Comment on Draft Document

Contact: DMV Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657–6437 |

Sacramento—The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has released draft autonomous vehicle deployment regulations for public comment. This is the next step toward allowing the public to operate self-driving cars on California roadways in the future.

“The primary focus of the deployment regulations is the safety of autonomous vehicles and the safety of the public who will share the road with these vehicles,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “We want to get public input on these draft regulations before we initiate the formal regulatory rule making process.”

The draft regulations are intended to promote the continued development of autonomous vehicle technology in California, while transitioning manufacturers from testing to deployment of self-driving cars. Upcoming public workshops are intended to gather input from industry, consumer and public interest groups, academics, as well as the public, to help improve the quality of the regulations that will eventually be adopted for the operation of self-driving vehicles.

Senate Bill 1298 (Chapter 570; Statutes of 2012) required the DMV to adopt regulations governing both the testing and the use of autonomous vehicles on public roadways. In September 2014, DMV announced the regulations for manufacturers to test the vehicles. Today’s draft regulations address the future use of autonomous vehicles by the public.

The draft regulations are designed to address complex questions related to vehicle safety, certification, operator responsibilities, licensing and registration, privacy, and cyber-security. Key aspects of the draft regulations include:

  1. Manufacturer Certification/Third Party Testing:
    Manufacturers will certify to their compliance with specific autonomous vehicle safety and performance requirements. In addition, a third-party testing organization will be required to conduct a vehicle demonstration test to provide an independent performance verification of the vehicle.
  2. Licensed Driver Required in Vehicle:
    A licensed operator will be required to be present inside the vehicle and be capable of taking control in the event of a technology failure or other emergency. Driverless vehicles are initially excluded from deployment. The department will address the unique safety, performance, and equipment requirements associated with fully autonomous vehicles in subsequent regulatory packages.
  3. Three-Year Deployment Permit:
    Manufacturers will be approved for a three-year deployment permit, which will require them to regularly report on the performance, safety, and usage of autonomous vehicles. This provisional permit is a critical first step towards the full deployment of autonomous vehicles in California. Data collected throughout the permit term will provide an opportunity to evaluate the safety and real-world performance of autonomous vehicles and inform subsequent regulatory actions by the department.
  4. Privacy and Cyber-Security Requirements:
    Manufacturers must disclose to the operator if information is collected, other than the information needed to safely operate the vehicle. Manufacturers will be required to obtain approval to collect this additional information. Autonomous vehicles will be equipped with self-diagnostic capabilities that detect and respond to cyber-attacks or other unauthorized intrusions, alert the operator, and allow for an operator override.

The DMV invites the public to participate in two upcoming workshops to discuss the draft regulations.

Northern California Southern California
10:00 a.m.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Harper Alumni Center
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819
10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Junipero Serra Building
320 West 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

In conjunction with the public workshops, the DMV has asked California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH), a research program of the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct a peer review of the behavioral competencies necessary to safely operate autonomous vehicles. The goal of the peer review is to engage industry experts, researchers, and other stakeholder organizations in more in-depth technical discussions of behavioral competencies in the context of the regulations. This peer review will also supplement feedback gathered in the public workshops.

The DMV previously held three public workshops in April 2013, March 2014, and January 2015. A Request for Information released in July 2014, collected information regarding the capabilities of entities interested in conducting third-party functional safety reviews and certifications of autonomous vehicles or autonomous technology.

The full text of the draft autonomous vehicle deployment regulations and the workshop notice is available on the DMV Autonomous Vehicles page.

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