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AB-1592 Autonomous vehicles: pilot project.(2015-2016)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1592


Introduced by Assembly Member Bonilla
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Travis Allen, Baker, and Obernolte)

January 06, 2016


An act to add Section 38755 to the Vehicle Code, relating to autonomous vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1592, as amended, Bonilla. Autonomous vehicles: pilot project.
Existing law permits the operation of an autonomous vehicle on public roads for testing purposes if, among other requirements, the a driver is seated in the driver’s seat and is capable of taking immediate manual control of the vehicle in the event of an autonomous technology failure or other emergency.
This bill would, notwithstanding the above provision, authorize the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to conduct a pilot project for the testing of autonomous vehicles that do not have an operator and are not equipped with a steering wheel, a brake pedal, or an accelerator, or an operator inside the vehicle, accelerator if the testing is conducted only at specified locations and the autonomous vehicle operates at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 38755 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

38755.
 Notwithstanding Section 38750, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority is authorized to conduct a pilot project for the testing of autonomous vehicles that do not have an operator and are not equipped with a steering wheel, a brake pedal, or an accelerator, or an operator inside the vehicle, accelerator provided the following requirements are met:
(a) The testing shall be conducted only at a privately owned business office park designated by the authority, inclusive of public roads within the designated office business park, and at the GoMentum Station at the located within the boundaries of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station.
(b) The autonomous vehicle shall operate at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour.
(c) A change in ownership of the property comprising the GoMentum Station shall not affect the authorization to conduct testing pursuant to this section.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special law is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution. Because of the need to limit the scope of testing of new autonomous vehicle technology technology, it is necessary to limit authorization for the establishment of a pilot project to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.