The state of California has declared that it will allow light-duty autonomous delivery vehicles to reach on roads.
The Verge reports that the new rule only applies to vehicles that weigh less than 10,001 pounds (4,536 kg) and can, consequently, be capped in Class 1 and 2 trucks including minivans, pickup trucks, step vans, and utility vans. Companies need to apply for permits that will fluctuate depending upon whether a backup motorist will be present.
These vehicles that do feature backup drivers will need to use Trained drivers and also require evidence of testing under Controlled conditions as well as reports for collisions and human interventions. Evaluation vehicles without a backup driver will need a Certified connection to a distant operator, a police ‘interaction plan’, and Confirmation that the automobiles meet safety standards and feature Level 5 or 4 autonomous capabilities.
Vehicles will also require assurances, certified immunity to cyber-attacks, and data recorders that the vehicle is safe to deploy. Vehicles want the ability to share-owner and operator information.
The marketplace for vehicles used for commercial purposes remains very small but has huge growth potential. One notable company, Nuro, has been testing its shipping service with pilot programs in Texas and Arizona and has shown that it will make an application for a license.