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State senator from San Jose pushes new driverless vehicle bill

A state senator from the Bay Area is continuing a drive to get communities more control over driverless cars on their own streets.

As it stands now, communities cannot say where driverless cars can and cannot drive, and local police can’t pull them over.

On Wednesday in Sacramento, state Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) will formally introduce Senate Bill 915, the Autonomous Vehicle Service Deployment and Data Transparency Act, with the goal of changing those policies.

The bill would align driverless vehicle regulations with those of human driven vehicles: Local police could ticket the cars; communities could keep them out of areas of concern, which would keep them from blocking emergency personnel from responding; and they would be subject to the same DMV registration requirements.

Cortese explains the bill’s intentions.

“I think giving cities who know their communities best the opportunity to pass ordinary local laws around speed limits and drop-off zones and accountability,” he said. “What does it mean if an autonomous vehicle is parked inappropriately, blocking a driveway or something like that? Who gets ticketed for that? Who pays for that?”

Cortese’s push took on new urgency last month when state regulators approved Waymo’s expansion along the Bay Area peninsula and in Los Angeles.

It could be a month or more before the bill hits the governor’s desk, but Wednesday’s first Senate hearing is a critical first step.


Source: NBC Bay Area

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