Self-driving cars might be missing a few things that seem kiiiiinda important
Nothing says “the future is here” quite like self-driving cars! The fact that self-driving cars are already out on the road is pretty amazing. However, some new proposed legislation in California might send us even farther into the future! California lawmakers are proposing legislation that would make self-driving cars allowed to go without some key parts.
These cars would lack steering wheels, brakes, or human drivers!
Luckily, there is a little more to it than that!
Self-driving cars without these key features would have to be tested on a controlled track or a computer simulation.
After they’re deemed safe, they would be allowed to be on the road. In case you’re worried, the cars still have mechanisms that help them steer and brake. Just not in the classic wheel and brake in the sense that we’re used to. And the human that usually sits in the passenger seat would be replaced by a human over intercom.
But what if the car gets pulled over by the cops?
According to USA Today, the official safety plan would include submitting an application, proving there’s a communication link in the car, providing a plan for how the company intends to comply with local law enforcement, creating a safety training process for their remote operators, and getting a safety assessment letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Also a really important change is that companies would no longer have to ask for permission to test a self-driving car in a county’s jurisdiction. They would just have to send them a note in writing. So this legislation could pave the way for self-driving cars with no human drivers, steering wheels, or brakes showing up on your street without much of a heads up!
And if you think this is all totally crazy, get ready. Though this legislation was introduced in California, laws like this already exist in Florida, Michigan, and Arizona. Also, there are currently no federal standards for self-driving cars. So at the moment these laws are technically more like guidelines.
We have no doubt that there will be all sorts of futuristic kinks to work out before these become commonplace. But we anxiously anticipate the day they are!