California DMV makes way for the testing of light-duty autonomous delivery vehicles

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On Friday, April 12, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released proposed regulations that “establish a path for companies to test or deploy light-duty autonomous motor trucks (delivery vehicles) on the state’s public roads.”

Under the proposed regulations, companies can test autonomous delivery vehicles that weigh less than 10,001 pounds with an approved permit from the DMV, as long as they don’t charge a delivery fee.

To make their autonomous technology commercially available, companies must apply for a deployment (public use) permit.

The release of these regulations marks the beginning of a 45-day public comment period, which ends on May 27. During this period, written comments may be submitted to LADRegulations@dmv.ca.gov.

After the comment period, the DMV will hold a public hearing at its Sacramento headquarters on May 30 at 10 a.m., so that it can gather input on the regulations.

The DMV notes that 62 companies currently have valid permits to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver on California public roadways, while Waymo is the lone company that has a permit for driverless testing.