California State Assembly advances revived AV safety operator bill

The state still bans the testing and deployment of medium- and heavy-duty autonomous vehicles. The issue came into further focus when the DMV held workshops last year that discussed heavy-duty AV testing to help inform potential rulemaking.

The reintroduced bill threatens to delay the removal of drivers from medium- and heavy-duty AVs to well beyond 2030 in the state. Before driverless operations could occur for vehicles weighing 10,001 pounds or more, the state DMV would have to issue a report on the technology, a legislative oversight hearing would have to occur, and the California State Legislature and governor would have to approve the change.

While driverless passenger car operations have been occurring in the California, problems have surfaced, such as crashes that included an autonomous car dragging a pedestrian approximately 20 feet on Oct 2, 2023, as well as the DMV suspending robotaxi company Cruise’s AV permit as of Oct. 24, 2023.

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