California Authorizes Light-Duty Autonomous Delivery Vehicles

This article was originally posted on January 2, 2020.

California will allow the testing and commercial
use of light-duty autonomous delivery vehicles on the state’s public roads,
and residents could soon receive deliveries from an autonomous vehicle.

In developing and adopting this rule-making, the DMV followed the same approach used for past AV regulations packages, including a public workshop and hearing. DMV Director Steve Gordon is quoted stating: “As always, public safety is our primary focus.” Requirements of permits include certification of several risk mitigation actions and plans. While this article provides a summary of various permit requirements, Ernie Perry, PhD, MAFC Program Manager and Associate Researcher at UW-Madison points out energy and emissions concerns for vehicles are paramount in California, the roads remain congested, and questions continue regarding effectiveness of the monitoring and safety measures for autonomous vehicles, and future impacts to driver employment. Transition to connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and automated freight vehicles raises many questions. Establishing the right regulations can allow the technologies to move forward and potentially increase safety for all road users, reduce congestion through more efficient vehicle interaction and routing, and provide environmental benefits by combining traffic efficiencies with alternative fueled vehicles.

Read full article on the California DMV website.