A revised regulation which could take effect in 2018 would eliminate a provision in an earlier draft that required "physical control by a natural person sitting in the vehicle's driver's seat" in any autonomous car.
The language was replaced with a requirement for "supervising the autonomous technology's performance of the dynamic driving task."
The California Department of Motor Vehicles said in the statement the change was made to remove a requirement which "could be unnecessarily limiting on the development of the technology" and to provide flexibility to allow remote monitoring.
The new rules come with a growing number of tech firms and automakers testing self-driving vehicles and follow new guidelines from the federal government aimed at spurring the technology widely believed to improve road safety and reduce accidents.
"We are excited to take the next step in furthering the development of this potentially life-saving technology in California," said state Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly.
DMV director Jean Shiomoto said the agency hopes to finalize its regulations by the end of the year and noted that 42 companies have permits to test autonomous vehicles in the states.
"The department looks forward to seeing those companies and additional companies advance the technology under these new regulations," Shiomoto said.
But John Simpson of the activist group Consumer Watchdog said the proposed rule would allow tech and auto firms to "do whatever they want as they use our roads as private laboratories and threaten highway safety."
The state agency said any autonomous vehicles would need to meet federal safety standards.
But Simpson said that in the absence of strict federal regulations which apply specifically to autonomous cars, "it's imperative that California continues to protect us."
For more than two decades, I-Net Bridge has been one of South Africa’s preferred electronic providers of innovative solutions, data of the highest calibre, reliable platforms and excellent supporting systems. Our products include workstations, web applications and data feeds packaged with in-depth news and powerful analytical tools empowering clients to make meaningful decisions.
We pride ourselves on our wide variety of in-house skills, encompassing multiple platforms and applications. These skills enable us to not only function as a first class facility, but also design, implement and support all our client needs at a level that confirms I-Net Bridge a leader in its field.Go to: http://www.inet.co.za