A who’s who of the automotive and tech sector reacted with concern at the state of California’s proposed rules for autonomous vehicles. Among other things, the companies were not happy that what the United States made voluntary, California may make required.

As reported by Reuters, the industry objected to the following:

  • Required vehicle data recorders;
  • A 12-month delay between vehicle testing and deployment on public roads;
  • A proposal that police could obtain self-driving data without a warrant or subpoena; and
  • That local municipalities could set their own rules for autonomous vehicles.

We have to say, that last one seems pretty unworkable. How could it be possible to have every county, every city, every village, every etc. set autonomous vehicles rules throughout the United States? That seems impossible to adhere to for the industry.

California is a big state, and it tends to be a leader on issues similar to these. However, we here at the Dashboard have noted that if California (or any other state) wants to be the leader in getting autonomous vehicles on the road, it needs to establish rules that the industry can follow. Allowing a patchwork of hundreds of rules that change every time an autonomous vehicle crosses a city boundary would certainly hinder the technology itself. What if Los Angeles County decides that autonomous vehicles can have no steering wheel, but Orange County decides that autonomous vehicles must have a steering wheel? Statewide, really nationwide, standards and rules are the best means of fostering and encouraging autonomous vehicle development.