Autonomous cars have been cruising the streets in California for a long time now, but they always had to have a human behind the wheel. California has now ushered in a new rule that will allow driverless cars to finally leave the humans at home and cruise the roads alone. There is one significant limit to how the program works though.
This limit means that Californians won’t see a car with no driver rolling down the freeway or cruising downtown. The driverless program with no human behind the wheel is a pilot project headed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. The driverless vehicle will be an EasyMile 12-seat shuttle that will operate at the San Ramon Bishop Ranch business park.
The autonomous vehicle will shuttle workers around the site and will travel on some public roads. The no human driver on board provision also clears the way for autonomous activity at the Concord Naval Weapons Station where Honda has been testing driverless car tech. The test vehicles don’t need manual controls like a steering wheel or pedals for this test. The vehicles in the test aren’t allowed to exceed 35mph.