Unmanned autonomous car permitted in California
From April onward cars can effectively be driverless in the state of California. Traffic authorities have abolished the rule that in an emergency situation a driver was still necessary behind the steering wheel.
Many companies from Silicon Valley asked to change this rule. A developer like Waymo (linked with Google) is already working on robot taxis for a long time. But also a traditional manufacturer like GM lately presented a prototype in which the steering wheel and pedals are missing.
Already 50 companies have a license in California to test drive autonomous cars. From the 2nd of April onward they can obtain a license for testing cars without a driver aboard.
The cars have to comply with particular security standards and there needs to be proof that they are protected against possible cyber attacks. In a first phase the functioning of the car has to be monitored by radio and all driving data have to be recorded, similar to air security.
Apart from that, a way of communication has to be developed with police officers who want to stop a robotized car. California has taken this initiative whereas the federal government in Washington seems not ready to impose rules for the US shortly. Apparently everything is blocked on the federal level.