Bill would slap steep fines on self-driving cars without permits

SFGATE (SAN FRANCISCO), 5 JANUARY 2017, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

In one whirlwind week in late December, Uber went from proudly rolling out robot taxis on the streets of San Francisco to halting its self-driving vehicle tests after California regulators revoked the cars’ registrations because Uber had failed to comply with state law requiring permits for testing autonomous vehicles.

A bill introduced Thursday seeks to prevent illegal tests of self-driving cars by imposing steep fines for companies that don’t obtain a $150 autonomous vehicle testing permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“We love that the technology is being developed here in the Bay Area and California, but we want to make sure that the vehicles on the road are safe for everybody,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, author of the bill.

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