Legal Technology News

California Rules Google’s Self-Driving Cars Will Require Steering Wheels and Brake Pedals
Download PDF

google car

Summary: Considering the experimental stage of Google’s self-driving cars, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has issued new rules that will require “autonomous” vehicles to have steering wheels and brake pedals so that drivers in need could take over immediate physical control of such cars.

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has issued new rules for “autonomous” vehicles like the self-driving cars of Google to ensure presence of parallel manual controls that could be used to override autonomous mode.


According to the rules, “Autonomous mode” means an autonomous vehicle that is operated or driven without active physical control by a natural person sitting in the vehicle’s driver’s seat, and driven with the autonomous technology engaged.

Earlier this year Google had asked for and received permission to test autonomous cars in California, but the new rules make it mandatory to equip such vehicles with manual controls – something that was not present in the early prototypes that Google had shown to the world.

While Google can still test cars without such manual controls on private roads in California, public roads are off limits without compliance: which may mean further adjustment of interior space of vehicles and also a fresh look at other safety standards.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

Besides the “manual control” imperatives, the greater part of the new rules are concerned with insurance and surety provisions with manufacturers of “autonomous” vehicles required to obtain proper testing permits, and provide instruments of insurance amounting to five million dollars.

Also the provisions that define who can be an “autonomous vehicle test driver” say such a person cannot be the at-fault driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident that resulted in injury or death of any person. Also, the test driver of an autonomous vehicle will need to prove that for “the ten years immediately preceding application to the department was not convicted for driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any drug, and did not suffer any driver’s license suspension or revocation based on driving or operating any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or of any drug.”

With the new rules in place, which are to come into effect from the middle of September this year, Google seems firmly set on the path to make self-driving vehicles viable for the masses. While some are viewing the new rules as a setback for Google’s promotion of futuristic looks in their vehicles, almost everyone, including Google spokespersons, agrees that it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Google is now hiring at various position, visit here for latest openings.





Search Now

Junior Commercial Litigation Attorney with products liability experience


Phoenix office of our client seeks junior commercial litigation attorney with 1-3 years of experienc...

Apply Now

Employment Defense Attorney with 5+ years of litigation experience

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of our client seeks employment defense attorney with 5+ years of litigation exper...

Apply Now

IP Patent Attorney with 2-5 years of computer engineering experience


Milwaukee office of our client seeks intellectual property patent attorney with 2-5 years of experie...

Apply Now

Labor and Employment Attorney with 3-4 years of litigation experience

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of our client seeks labor and employment attorney with 3-4 years of litigation ex...

Apply Now


Legal Secretary

USA-FL-Fort Lauderdale

Prestigious and long established boutique law firm downtown Fort Lauderdale seeks an experienced civ...

Apply now


USA-CA-Los Angeles

Under the supervision of lead attorneys, the firm is seeking a paralegal who will be responsible for...

Apply now


USA-CA-Los Angeles

The firm is seeking a business immigration attorney who will work closely with clients on business i...

Apply now

Document Review Attorney


Update Legal is currently seeking PA admitted Attorneys for an ediscovery document review. No experi...

Apply now

Most Popular


To Top