Reasearch on autonomous, or driverless, trucks is going forward at high speed. Now, in California, perhaps the most advanced State in the U.S. when it comes to the future of mobility and to emissions reduction, testing the vehicles on public roads might become more challenging. The Senate of California recently passed a bill that would require the presence of operators inside the vehicles, even when they’re driverless. Indeed, California “has yet to allow trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more to be driven autonomously on public roads”, as written by the website SmartCitiesDive.

Research on autonomous trucks at risk in California?

“We are disappointed to see AB 316 pass the California Senate”, stated AVIA, representing those companies involved in autonomous driving. On the other hand, as reported by SmartCitiesDive, Sen. Brian Jones, R-San Diego, said before the vote: “While self-driving technology could be promising in the future, it is simply not there yet for widespread and expanded use into heavy-duty trucks. When public safety is at risk, we need to pump the brakes until it is perfected.”

Opponents of the bill also argued “that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles should have oversight, but the bill calls for legislators to take a more active role”. The pending laws now needs the signing of the governor to be finally approved.


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