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Google "gravely disappointed" with California DMV's proposed self-driving car law

By midian182 · 17 replies
Dec 17, 2015
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  1. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has published draft proposals dealing with the use of self-driving cars on public roads – and Google isn’t happy with some of the regulations. The DMV’s proposed law says that all autonomous cars must have a steering wheel, and a licensed driver must be present to take over if the vehicle’s systems fail.

    "A licensed operator will be required to be present inside the vehicle and be capable of taking control in the event of a technology failure or other emergency," a draft of the recommendations stated.

    Google has said it is “gravely disappointed” by the proposals, as the company has been aiming to introduce self-driving cars without steering wheels or pedals to consumers.

    In developing vehicles that can take anyone from A to B at the push of a button, we’re hoping to transform mobility for millions of people, whether by reducing the 94 percent of accidents caused by human error or bringing everyday destinations within reach of those who might otherwise be excluded by their inability to drive a car. Safety is our highest priority and primary motivator as we do this. We’re gravely disappointed that California is already writing a ceiling on the potential for fully self-driving cars to help all of us who live here.

    The DMV also proposes that manufacturers of autonomous vehicles be granted a three-year deployment permit, during which time they can only lease cars to consumers, rather than sell them. Before the permit is granted, however, an independent certifier would need to verify a manufacturer’s safety assurances.

    Any prospective users of autonomous vehicles will need to undergo special, manufacturer-provided training. Moreover, manufacturers will be required to monitor how safely vehicles are driving and report their performance to the state. They will also have to disclose any data they collect, other than from safety systems, and obtain approval to collect it.

    Last month, it was reported that one of Google's self-driving cars had been pulled over by police for not driving fast enough. This situation brought up the question of who would be responsible if one these autonomous vehicles broke the law. According to the proposed regulations, any traffic violations or accidents would remain the responsibility of the human driver. Google previously said it would take responsibility for accident liability, but it seems that won’t be possible if this proposal becomes law.

    A statement from the DMV read: "Given the potential risks associated with deployment of such a new technology, DMV believes that manufacturers need to obtain more experience in testing driverless vehicles on public roads prior to making this technology available to the general public."

    The draft also requires manufacturers make their vehicles safe from cyber attacks. Back in September, a researcher discovered a way to hack self-driving car sensors using a laser pointer and a Raspberry Pi.

    It’s worth remembering that these rules are in draft form, and they could change at a later date. Next month, California state will open up the regulations to comments from companies, who will doubtlessly have plenty to say about the DMV’s proposals.

    Permalink to story.

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,572   +4,413

    "Google has said it is “gravely disappointed” by the proposals, as the company has been aiming to introduce self-driving cars without steering wheels or pedals to consumers."

    Lets get there with steering wheels and peddles first, before removing them. Once we get there, I'm sure California DMV will recant and amend their decision.
    Lionvibez likes this.
  3. Exactly, not sure why Google would be disappointing. As the tech matures, I'm sure laws could be changed to allow for vehicles without wheels or pedals....at least for those consumers who want to give up that privilege.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    Next thing you know they'll be disabling aimbot during road rage mode.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  5. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,375   +71

    Why do we cater to the insurance industry so much, is what it must be? What if people actually GOT in accidents? We need not be so extreme. Let's see, I bought a self driving car, but it needs a driver. Duh. Must be a sin.
  6. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,400   +561

    Good question.

    Lets see Google's original draft says they would be liable for accidents. Which would mean why do I need to buy insurance from another company? which means lost revenue for the insurance companies....

    So who's best interest is it to keep consumers buying standard insurance? And who's lobbies the state to keep the status quo in check?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
    Reehahs and cliffordcooley like this.
  7. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    The insurance business is incredibly lucrative. I think self driving cars are the worst nightmare of insurance companies. Imagine if the manufacturer of a self driving car takes full responsibility for any accidents caused by said vehicle, where does that leave insurance companies? These blood sucking cockroaches will fight tooth and nail to make sure "choice" isn't something consumers get to have. It reminds me a little bit of the whole Uber fiasco where the taxi cartels are literally holding large cities hostage and threatening violence if they don't get what they want. Once this new law is passed in California, you can expect the insurance companies to try and bring it to every other state as well.
    Reehahs likes this.
  8. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,528   +544

    Self driving cars...ha ha ha
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,280

    Who's responsible for bribing the officer if he/she pulls the vehicle over for breaking the rules of the road, Google or the occupants? :)
    dividebyzero likes this.
  10. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    If it's the occupants, that negates my primary reason to invest in a self-driving car. What's the point of buying an autonomous auto if it doesn't allow me to kick back and drink into a state of extreme intoxication. Kind of defeats the purpose....hic...
  11. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 586   +75

    You could soon taken down google, if these cars are filled with drugged and used to smuggle. Lets say you was going over the Mexican border than the driver and occupants maybe arrested but in theory the car could be empty and then google are to blame?
  12. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,565   +950

    It's GOVERNMENT. For the people, by the people means 'average'... 'median'... I.e., half way.

    Insurance companies need not fear. Google has lawyers. So, Google won't cover everything (else why have lawyers). Ergo, there will be insurance - way over priced for the risk until the actuarial science proves they have made bundles.
  13. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,867   +668

    "A licensed operator will be required to be present inside the vehicle and be capable of taking control in the event of a technology failure or other emergency,"

    I can not agree with this more, and see no way Google can fight this, it's just common sense, if the software is to bug out the vehicle needs to be controllable. People who do not have licenses can take these things called Buses, they've been around for 100 years and seem to do the trick for people who can't get their drivers license.

    More testing across the board needs to be done, the technology is still very new and has already shown signs for potential issues, it was inevitable that laws get put in place to regulate self driving cars, given how potentially bad the outcome would be if someone were to hack a bunch of these and have them start driving off cliffs, lets just hope when that day comes the hackers do it without the occupants present.

    When did the story mention insurance companies having anything to do with this? Regardless of what happens insurance will be paid somewhere, if you don't pay it yourself Google will be paying it for you and it will show up in your monthly payments, you can not defeat the insurance companies, their foot hold is far too strong. Besides it would be no less different then driving a company vehicle, insurance gets paid one way or another, they have taken that choice away from people long ago.
  14. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +137

    So what good does that do to someone like me who can't drive a regular vehicle anymore? Even though I still technically hold a license with an M stamp even. Multiple Sclerosis took the ability to drive from me. So I was looking forward to these cars to get around again without my wife having to shuttle me. Also no buses around me either or taxis until I get into town.
  15. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,213   +2,678

    Well, that entirely ruins my plans to take up drinking again as part of retirement. I refuse to take the risk of drinking and driving and I would MUCH prefer to be able to sleep on the way home, in fact I was trying to find a way to make it possible to put a garage door into the bedroom so I could just fall out the door and into the bed, leaving the car to leave and put itself in the garage, or better yet, have it run down to the drug store and get the ingredients for my favorite hang-over remedy! Oh well, maybe next year!
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,848   +3,251

    So what, we should cater to Google more? Like Bob Dylan said, "you got to serve somebody".

    Follow your drunken dreams, and move to another state.

    Besides, "The Golden State" is a PITA anyway. Every bottle or spray can of anything you pick up plainly states, "this product contains chemicals known to be carcinogenic by the State of California". If you sat around and read labels all day, you'd be so paranoid you'd never get anything done.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  17. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,213   +2,678

    HAHAHAHA .... works for me!
  18. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 2,923   +1,433

    At this time, I cannot see even a self-driving car without manual controls. I'd say that anyone who has used a gps to get somewhere knows that there are always errors in the directions; sometimes those errors are truly serious.

    In a not so serious scenario, what happens if your self-driving, manual-control-less car pulls into the driveway of a house that is not your destination, then what do you do? "Car, you screwed up! We are at the wrong address." "I understand what you are saying, Dave, but the gps says that we are at the right address, Dave. I can feel it!"

    As I see it, gagme is being unrealistic and unreasonable and acting very much like a big baby that has just had its toy taken away from it - that is - gagme's prototype, sans manual controls, is being very reasonably questioned IMHO, and because of that gagme is throwing a tantrum. Because of this, I have to wonder whether gagme has really thought through all possible failure scenarios.
    cliffordcooley likes this.

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