New California Regulations Allow Driverless Cars on the Road Beginning April 2

February 28, 2018

On February 26, 2018, the California Office of Administrative Law approved the DMV’s final regulatory package for driverless autonomous vehicles. Beginning April 2, 2018, autonomous vehicles can be operated on public roads with a remote operator.

Requirements for a Testing Permit include:

  • A dedicated communication link with a remote operator who can take over if necessary
  • A law enforcement plan submitted to the DMV
  • Written notification of testing submitted to local authorities
  • Vehicles capable of connecting the manufacturer to law enforcement in the event of a collision
  • Vehicles equipped with Level 4 or Level 5 autonomous technology

A testing permit would be valid in California for two years and require a biennial application/renewal fee of $3,600.

Although there is currently no word on whether any company is ready to deploy their driverless vehicles to the general public, the new California regulations also offer deployment permits. Currently, there is no testing duration requirement, which means any manufacturer can apply for a deployment permit as soon as the necessary safety standards are met. Notably, the deployment regulations require certification from the manufacturer that the vehicle can withstand cyber-attacks.

Requirements for a Deployment Permit include:

  • Certification that the vehicle is equipped with an AV data recorder
  • Certification that the vehicle is designed to detect and respond to roadway situations
  • Certification that the vehicle complies with Federal safety standards
  • Certification that the vehicle meets current industry standards to help defend against, detect, and respond to cyberattacks, unauthorized intrusions or false vehicle control commands
  • Certification that the manufacturer has conducted testing and is satisfied that the vehicle is safe for deployment

The California DMV will post a public notice of the new regulations on March 2, 2018.

If you have questions about the information in this alert, please contact Dommond Lonnie (213-457-1712 or, William Kohler (313-568-6603 or, Kathryn Han (213-457-1837 or, or any member of Dykema’s Mobility and Advanced Transportation Team.

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