Google ‘perplexed’ by DMV ruling

Autonomous cars will be banned from the roads in California unless they have a fully licensed driver behind the wheel.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California published draft regulations about driverless cars last week, saying they’d be ‘initially excluded’ from operation.

The decision has provoked criticism from Google, with director of self-driving cars, Chris Urmson, describing it as ‘perplexing’.

He said, ‘This maintains the same old status quo and falls short on allowing this technology to reach its full potential, while excluding those who need to get around but cannot drive.

Google also argued that driverless cars are much safer than manually driven cars, pointing to the fact that its vehicles had been involved in only 16 minor incidents during six years of testing, with humans in other cars to blame.

Chris said, ‘We’ve seen in our own testing that drivers can’t be trusted to dip in and out of the task of driving when the car is encouraging them to sit back and relax.’

Some of the driverless cars Google has been testing in California do not have any manual controls such as steering wheels or pedals.

The DMV said, ‘The draft regulations are designed to address complex questions related to vehicle safety, certification, operator responsibilities, licensing and registration, privacy, and cybersecurity.’