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California DMV releases draft regulations for autonomous vehicles

thecloud

As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive
Nov 24, 2014
1,772
1,627
Sunnyvale, CA
The California DMV released draft regulations for autonomous vehicles yesterday. Apparently Google is not pleased.

The gist of these regulations seems to be that unmanned operation is being outlawed. A licensed driver (who will need to get a new "autonomous vehicle operator certificate" issued by the DMV) must be "monitoring the safe operation of the vehicle at all times and be capable of taking over immediate control."

While this language seems in line with the restrictions Tesla currently places on the use of Autosteer, it also seems like we won't be getting that feature which enables summoning your car from its parking spot to your door anytime soon.
 

GSP

Member
Dec 28, 2007
2,573
804
It used to be that if you wanted to drive an automobile on public streets, someone had to walk in front of it waving a red flag to warn the public.

People haven't changed over the past 120 years. Sigh.

GSP
 

muleferg

Active Member
Dec 15, 2013
1,454
745
North Wilkesboro, NC
I remember getting my drivers lic in Japan in 1954, and almost failed the test for not having both hands on the steering wheel. I was informed by the Japanese instructor to drive with both hands at all times. The Capt of the Minesweeper I was on wanted me and 2 others to get a driver lic. to drive him around we we came into port.

US Navy 1951-55
 

Andyw2100

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2014
6,542
2,393
Ithaca, NY
While this language seems in line with the restrictions Tesla currently places on the use of Autosteer, it also seems like we won't be getting that feature which enables summoning your car from its parking spot to your door anytime soon.

The draft regulations should have no bearing on the release of that feature, as Musk always stated that it was intended for use on private property only. Sure, he may have been thinking that at some point down the road that feature, coupled with better hardware, would eventually allow the car to operate itself without a driver on public roads, but that wasn't how the feature we're waiting for now was described.
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,427
9,742
Columbia River Gorge
The California DMV released draft regulations for autonomous vehicles yesterday. Apparently Google is not pleased.

The gist of these regulations seems to be that unmanned operation is being outlawed. A licensed driver (who will need to get a new "autonomous vehicle operator certificate" issued by the DMV) must be "monitoring the safe operation of the vehicle at all times and be capable of taking over immediate control."

While this language seems in line with the restrictions Tesla currently places on the use of Autosteer, it also seems like we won't be getting that feature which enables summoning your car from its parking spot to your door anytime soon.

Before we all react, the DMV is also viewing this as transitional, with the goal of achieving self-driving. It seems reasonable to me, at first glance.

The idea is for this regulatory framework to stay in place from current prototype tests through a transition to broader consumer use, since companies like Google and Tesla are promising customer-ready models within a few years. The draft calls for manufacturers to offer customers supplemental training courses that award certificates of completion and are recorded on individuals' driver's licenses.

California draft regulations: Self-driving cars must have steering wheel, licensed driver.
 

thecloud

As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive
Nov 24, 2014
1,772
1,627
Sunnyvale, CA
Before we all react, the DMV is also viewing this as transitional, with the goal of achieving self-driving. It seems reasonable to me, at first glance.
Hopefully that's the case, but once laws are put in place, they can be hard to change.

One concern I have is the proposal to put an additional layer of regulation on top of my driver's license in order for me to legally operate a car which has autonomous driving features. How much more will I be paying the DMV for the privilege of driving my Model S (...or X) in the future? Will I be charged more for insurance as a result, just because I've obtained the new certificate, or because I drive a vehicle known to have autonomous features? These are questions to think about.
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,427
9,742
Columbia River Gorge
I would guess the rash of videos showing use of autopilot under conditions outside the use case defined by Tesla is part of the reason for the DMV's caution and potential need to be signed off by the manufacturer. Want to guess that part of the signoff is making it clear that you fully understand the proper conditions for use of self-driving?

You might be charged less by insurance companies, esp after stats start coming in that (hopefully) support that self-driving cars are less likely to get into accidents.
 

Andyw2100

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2014
6,542
2,393
Ithaca, NY
You might be charged less by insurance companies, esp after stats start coming in that (hopefully) support that self-driving cars are less likely to get into accidents.

What should really help Tesla owners will be when the insurance companies on their own (or with a little help from Tesla) start figuring out just how safe, statistically, Teslas are built, without even factoring in any additional benefits that may accrue from the autopilot features. The fact that in many cases people driving or riding in Teslas involved in accidents wind up hurt less than other people driving or riding in other vehicles in equivalent accidents should be worth a lot to the companies insuring the Teslas.
 

brucet999

Active Member
Mar 12, 2015
2,685
1,493
Huntington Beach, CA
What should really help Tesla owners will be when the insurance companies on their own (or with a little help from Tesla) start figuring out just how safe, statistically, Teslas are built, without even factoring in any additional benefits that may accrue from the autopilot features. The fact that in many cases people driving or riding in Teslas involved in accidents wind up hurt less than other people driving or riding in other vehicles in equivalent accidents should be worth a lot to the companies insuring the Teslas.

One might hope, but I very much doubt that insurers' data will be quite so granular as to parse out injury rates for particular vehicles in accidents under similar circumstances. Especially the similarity of circumstances data would seem to be impossible to get.
 

adiggs

Active Member
Sep 25, 2012
4,373
12,086
Portland, OR
One might hope, but I very much doubt that insurers' data will be quite so granular as to parse out injury rates for particular vehicles in accidents under similar circumstances. Especially the similarity of circumstances data would seem to be impossible to get.

You might be surprised at the quality and granularity of the data that is available to investigate injuries. At least in the US, there's been a cooperative arrangement amongst insurers (my description) to collect accident and injury statistics and data. You're looking for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute (http://www.iihs.org/iihs). Finding answers to the kinds of questions you wonder about (injury rates for similar vehicles, similar circumstances, similar actual injuries) is precisely the kinds answers they are collecting data to support, and analyzing to find answers for.
 

Caligula

Member
Oct 14, 2015
596
149
San Diego
What in the holy hell does an already licensed driver need a separate permit/certificate for in this scenario? Or am I missing this point, and is this just another way to generate revenue? I'm assuming this "certificate" wont be gratis.
 

Andyw2100

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2014
6,542
2,393
Ithaca, NY
You might be surprised at the quality and granularity of the data that is available to investigate injuries. At least in the US, there's been a cooperative arrangement amongst insurers (my description) to collect accident and injury statistics and data. You're looking for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute (http://www.iihs.org/iihs). Finding answers to the kinds of questions you wonder about (injury rates for similar vehicles, similar circumstances, similar actual injuries) is precisely the kinds answers they are collecting data to support, and analyzing to find answers for.

Assuming this data does demonstrate what we would expect it to, and does become statistically meaningful, it would be great if Tesla did the work to compile the information and present it, or hired the right lobbyists or what-have-you to do so. I don't think that many people are buying Teslas because of how safe they are. With the right message, and the data to support it, that could change.
 

Zwalderon

Member
Nov 18, 2015
31
0
Hillsboro, OR
Tesla intends to "shadow" what the vehicles response WOULD be if the autonomous features were activated. When the responses become statistically safer than human responses insurance companies and authorities will be satisfied.
 

macpacheco

Member
Feb 13, 2014
546
349
Brazil
It used to be that if you wanted to drive an automobile on public streets, someone had to walk in front of it waving a red flag to warn the public.

People haven't changed over the past 120 years. Sigh.

GSP

What haven't changed is the fact that public servants (and politicians) first priority is protecting their own behinds...
I expected exactly that. Now we can move on to proving those proposals are useless as it usually happens.
I have a lot of experience following what the FAA regulations have evolved over the years, often in insane totally overbearing, ultra expensive proposals that often get reworked into somewhat affordable, less insane regulations we end up forced to follow.
Like Elon explained, full autonomy will take years after they have it working in practice.
It will take billions of miles of 99.99999% safe autopilot operation (with human monitoring) to move the needle in those requirements.

- - - Updated - - -

Tesla intends to "shadow" what the vehicles response WOULD be if the autonomous features were activated. When the responses become statistically safer than human responses insurance companies and authorities will be satisfied.

Insufficient. It will have to be around an order of magnitude safer to actually convince the authorities. "Hey, because you government haven't allowed fully autonomous cars, we just had tens of thousands of preventable deaths this year alone !"
When not allowing fully autonomous cars make the authorities look really bad, then they will finally do it.
 
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ferdboyce

Member
Dec 14, 2013
99
113
Seattle WA
Hard to understand those who believe government will block efforts to support autonomous driving are the same folks that have enjoyed their government's having provided their $7500 ++ tax rebate/sales tax forgiveness.
 

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