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California DMV proposes regulations for autonomous light-duty delivery vehicles

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released proposed regulations that establish a path for companies to test or to deploy light-duty autonomous motor trucks (delivery vehicles) on the state’s public roads. The release of these regulations marks the start of a 45-day public comment period, which ends 27 May 2019.

Under the proposed regulations, companies can test autonomous delivery vehicles weighing less than 10,001 pounds with an approved permit from the DMV—provided they do not charge a delivery fee.

Companies must apply for a deployment (public use) permit to make their autonomous technology commercially available. The DMV’s regulations continue to exclude the testing or deployment of autonomous vehicles weighing more than 10,001 pounds.

Following the comment period, the DMV will hold a public hearing at its Sacramento headquarters on 30 May to gather input on the regulations. The DMV previously held a public workshop on 19 October 2018 to gather and to discuss input on the development of the regulations.

The approach is consistent with how the DMV developed past AV regulations packages, and the department is targeting to complete this rulemaking within the year.

Currently, 62 companies have valid permits to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver on California public roadways. One company has a permit for driverless testing.

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