California loosens rules for driverless cars, clearing the way for robot taxis

LA TIMES, 28 FEB. 2018, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

Until now, driverless cars were allowed on California roads only with a human behind the wheel. The new rules — which were sought by automakers, Silicon Valley technology companies and many safety advocates — loosen restrictions on testing and, crucially, set standards to allow the sale or lease of robot cars and their operation by ride-hailing fleets.

“Those deployments will start small but grow fast,” said Bryant Walker Smith, a specialist in autonomous vehicle regulation at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Already, Waymo plans to deploy a robot-car ride-hailing service in the Phoenix area later this year.

<Read More>