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Autonomous cars without backup drivers could come to California roads before June

Autonomous cars without backup drivers could come to California roads before June

"It could be sooner than that, but it's all contingent on when the regulations are approved", said Soublet.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles published the proposed changes to self-driving car regulations on Wednesday.

That requirement could be removed away next year, although of course there would still be plenty of restrictions and safeguards in place - the roads of California won't suddenly become clogged with fleets of empty self-driving vehicles, and interested companies will still have to apply for road space and permits. Current regulations are availble on the California website under the "trending" section at the DMV homepage.

During a Google event in the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Francisco, California, on Dec 13 2016, the Waymo driverless car was displayed, it is since then people have been wondering when they will get to see the completely driverless cars hitting on the roads of California.

California motor vehicle officials say they support the federal government's direction, which maintains the oversight and regulation of car safety at the federal level.

California's change in tack comes as other states build momentum with looser regulations.

Driverless cars - with nobody behind the wheel - could be on California roads and highways by June 2018.

Not everyone is happy about the proposed rule changes, though. Considerable pushback from the tech industry followed, and in September 2016, the DMV put out new proposed rules that would allow autonomous vehicles without a backup driver as long as the vehicles complied with federal regulations. Manufacturers would still need to receive approval or a waiver for exemption from the federal government before operating a vehicle on public roads without a human driver or conventional controls like a steering wheel or pedals. "In addition, manufacturers must also certify their vehicles are designed to operate in compliance with state traffic laws".

The revised rules are subject to a 15-day public comment period, and then will be submitted to the state government, which will draft plans to enforce them, according to The Verge.

The state is not changing its prohibition on the testing of autonomous trucks, arguing that a separate rule-making process will be needed to allow for the testing of self-driving vehicles over 10,000 pounds.

The state clarifies how manufacturers must notify local authorities before testing and cedes development and enforcement of safety standards to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Consumer Watchdog criticized the revisions, saying California should stick to its earlier, stricter state requirements.Consumer Watchdog criticized the revisions, saying California should stick to its earlier, stricter state requirements.