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California allows fully driverless cars to be tested on public roads

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles have announced a permitting process for companies wishing to deploy driverless vehicles without anyone behind the wheel.

The new rules open the door to companies like Waymo and GM that want to test fully autonomous vehicles without safety drivers on public roads for the first time.

DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said, “This is a major step forward for autonomous technology in California. Safety is our top concern and we are ready to begin working with manufacturers that are prepared to test fully driverless vehicles in California.”

Nearly 1,000 safety drivers are currently licensed to test autonomous vehicles, but after the state’s rules go into effect, companies would be allowed to deploy cars without any human behind the wheel at all.