Last December, the California Department of Motor Vehicles released its draft autonomous vehicle regulations which, by requiring a human driver (as well as a steering wheel and pedals), undermines the opportunity for self-driving cars to reach their full life-saving potential on California roads. Now, there is more bad news: Despite many automakers and tech companies originally setting their sights on Silicon Valley – a place where companies have traditionally flocked to create new and disruptive technologies – to develop and build their self-driving cars, the draft regulations will encourage these companies to relocate outside of Silicon Valley and California as a whole.
The reason? The California DMV’s mistake is not being repeated by other states, in particular Michigan, which is developing a regulatory regime that will maximize the life-saving capability of driverless technology (and avoid the requirements imposed by the California DMV and Texas, whose choice not to regulate self-driving cars has provided a more favorable regulatory environment than California.
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