In California, autonomous cars are about to start cruising without a safety driver
The state’s regulators will finally allow tech firms to test their robotic vehicles the way they’ve always wanted to.
New rules: Starting April 2, reports the New York Times, autonomous cars in California will not need a safety driver behind the wheel. Operators will, however, need to be able to control the cars remotely and communicate with other people (like the police) if something goes wrong.
Why it matters: Such tests should accelerate progress in autonomous cars. They’ll also get the public acclimated to the weirdness of the vehicles (without having humans dress as car seats) and enable firms to test the cars in the way they’ll actually be used commercially.