DMV: Driverless vehicle testing approved in Fremont and Milpitas

Bay Area

A driverless car by Pony.ai makes its way during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2018 (WAIC 2018) in Shanghai on September 18, 2018. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo credit should read STR/AFP via Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Fremont and Milpitas residents will soon see driverless vehicles sooner than later.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles issued a permit to Fremont-based Pony.ai Friday, authorizing them to test autonomous vehicles in Fremont, Milpitas and Irvine.

While Pony.ai has had state authority to test autonomous vehicles with safety drivers since 2017, the new permit allows the company to test six autonomous vehicles without a driver behind the wheel on specified streets within the three cities.

The company is the eight to receive a driverless testing permit in the state.

Currently, 55 companies have an active permit to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver.

A visitor experiences a driverless car by Pony.ai during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2018 (WAIC 2018) in Shanghai on September 18, 2018. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo credit should read STR/AFP via Getty Images)

In order to receive a driverless testing permit, manufacturers must meet the following criteria:

  • Providing evidence of insurance or a bond equal to $5 million.
  • Verifying vehicles are capable of operating without a driver, meet federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or have an exemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and is a SAE Level 4 or 5 vehicle.
  • Confirming vehicles have been tested under controlled conditions that simulate the planned area of operation.
  • Notifying local governments of planned testing in the area.
  • Developing a Law Enforcement Interaction Plan that provides information to law enforcement and other first responders on how to interact with test vehicles.
  • Continuously monitoring the status of test vehicles.
  • Training remote operators on the technology being tested.

Driverless testing permit holders must also report to the DMV any collisions involving a driverless test vehicle within 10 days and submit an annual report of disengagements.

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