Fully Autonomous Car Testing Permit Applications Available Now

Fully Autonomous Car Testing Permit Applications Available March 2

Fully Autonomous Car Testing Permit Applications Available March 2

I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. Beginning in April, Sacramento drivers may start to see fully autonomous driverless vehicles sharing the roads around the state. Although the new regulations were posted yesterday by the Department of Motor Vehicles, it will take about one month for permits to be issued.

Revised Provisions for Fully Autonomous Vehicles

Since driverless vehicles will soon be permitted in California without a human in the vehicle, revisions to the law were needed.  Under revisions made by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, manufacturers that meet the requirements will be able to use highways, streets and off-street parking facilities, and all vehicles must carry proof of insurance and a copy of their bond inside each vehicle. Permits are good for two years unless the permit has been surrendered or revoked. Vehicles that are not permitted under this authorization include trailers, motorcycles, certain motor vehicles, vehicles that weigh over 10,001 pounds and other designations. The original fee for processing the application has been raised from $150 to $3,600. Three types of testing permits are available to manufacturers:

  • Permits for vehicles with a driver
  • Permits for fully autonomous vehicles
  • Deployment

Watch Youtube Video ~ California OKs driverless car testing without backup drivers. The video talks about how this new program will be helpful for people with disabilities and other under served individuals in the Sacramento community.

Driver Requirements

If the vehicle has a driver on board, the driver must be a designee, contractor or manufacturer employee with three years experience who has held a drivers license for at least three years. Drivers may not have more than one point on their drivers license and must not have been responsible for any motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death or injury of another person. The driving program for autonomous vehicles must have been completed. The driver must have not been convicted or had his/her license suspended in the previous 10 years for drugged or drunk driving.

State Versus National Legislation

Fully driverless vehicles without a brake pedal, accelerator, mirrors or steering wheel are being considered under national legislation. The bill would not permit states to pass their own laws. 

Liability in a Car Crash

When a driver is involved in a crash with an autonomous vehicle that is caused by that vehicle, blame for the accident would potentially shift to the manufacturer, software maker or other entity that was responsible for the crash. Because of this, the liability would likely shift from driver error that causes a crash to product liability. One advantage is that the information in the computer system of the self-driving vehicle would be stored in the on-board computer system, making it easier to prove fault. Compensation for such accident injuries may also be higher than in other car accident injury claims, since the manufacturer has the responsibility to provide a safe product that doesn’t endanger others. When an individual is injured in an accident caused by an autonomous vehicle, contacting an injury lawyer experienced in auto products liability is a good first step in obtaining fair compensation.

Liability Laws

Liability claims must show that the product was defective, the product was used as intended, the defect was inherent to the product and present in the product. The plaintiff must also demonstrate that he or she was injured due to the defect. In California, it is unnecessary to prove negligence in product liability lawsuits. This is an advantage for plaintiffs since proving negligence can be complex. In addition, online computer system maintains a record of how the vehicle functioned.

Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. Changes in the automotive industry will bring benefits and challenges to the roadway. Autonomous car accident claims will be handled differently, but the basic presumption that an injured party deserves compensation will remain the same. If you or a family member has been hurt, give me a call at (916) 921-6400 in the local area or (800) 404-5400. You can contact me online too.

Over the past 35 years, I’ve assisted residents of Sacramento and the Northern California area with everything from traumatic brain injuries to those suffered in a truck, motorcycle or pedestrian accidents.

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Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
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