South Bay to see more self-driving cars on the road

Robotaxi company Waymo is expanding its coverage area down the peninsula into Sunnyvale. The self-driving San Francisco fixture will roll out in parts of San Mateo County first, causing angst for local officials that have no authority over how robotaxis operate on the roads. One state senator is trying to level the autonomous automotive playing field.

The California Public Utilities Commission and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are solely responsible for approving self-driving car permits, but Sen. Dave Cortese’s Senate Bill 915 aims to give cities and counties a certain amount of oversight.

The bill would allow local governments to create policies about self-driving cars after the companies obtain state approval…For example, the state provides drivers licenses and car registrations, but local jurisdictions establish speed limits. He added that local governments are more familiar with the details of their regions and better able to adapt to changing technologies.

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