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Autonomous Cars Without Backup Drivers Could Soon Hit The Road

This undated photo shows the Interstate 5 freeway.

Photo by Bill Morrow

Above: This undated photo shows the Interstate 5 freeway.

California could soon allow companies developing autonomous vehicles to test them on public roads without a driver or even a steering wheel. New proposed rules also set a path for driverless cars coming to the public.

Forty-two companies are working on self-driving cars in California, and the state could soon lift a requirement for their test vehicles to have backup drivers. Bernard Soriano with the California DMV said that’s part one of the new rules proposal.

RELATED: San Diego’s Driverless Car Tests Get People Thinking

“It will also allow for the first time, at least here in California, them applying to get a permit to allow the public deployment of the vehicles," Soriano said, "whether that means it’s in fleet vehicles or leasing arrangements or sales of vehicles …”

State officials will take public comment on the proposed rules for the next two weeks. It will likely be years before driverless cars make their way to the showroom of your local dealership, but officials hope to have the new regulations in place by June.

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