California DMV approves autonomous commercial delivery vehicles for testing
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has approved a plan to allow autonomous light-duty trucks to be tested and used for commercial purposes on state roads.
The Verge reported Wednesday that new applications will start 30 days from Dec. 17, when the plan went into effect. The decision reportedly follows a move from the state’s Office of Administrative Law allowing the testing of autonomous vehicles for delivery use in the state.
If testing is successful, companies like Amazon could begin using cargo vans in the state for purposes such as cargo shipping and home delivery.
“The adoption of these regulations means Californians soon could receive deliveries from an autonomous vehicle provided the company fulfills the requirements,” said California DMV Director Steve Gordon, according to local news affiliate KHTS.
Self-driving vehicles in the state must be under 10,000 pounds under current law, meaning that larger trucks with autonomous driving capabilities will still be prohibited under the policy. The new policy allows pickup trucks, vans and other smaller vehicles to be tested with or without a driver, depending on the specific permit granted by the DMV.
California previously approved the testing and deployment of self-driving smaller vehicles for commercial use last year.
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