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Ban On Driverless Cars Proposed

California regulators, calling for caution on self-driving cars, today proposed rules that would sharply restrict their use on the state’s roads -- and place an outright ban on “driverless” cars that travel with no humans onboard. Under the proposal by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, all autonomous cars would need a steering wheel and pedals when operating on California’s public roads. Behind the controls, they would need a licensed driver with an “autonomous vehicle operator certificate” capable of taking control if something goes awry. In a statement today, DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said the agency’s main concern is “the safety of autonomous vehicles and the safety of the public who will share the road with these vehicles.” The rules, if finalized, could prompt technology companies such as Google, and automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and Tesla, to look beyond California for their first deployment of self-driving cars. This summer, Google started testing its self-driving cars in Austin, Texas, where a culture of business-friendly regulation could make it easier to introduce the technology to the public.

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