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

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AB1592:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 22, 2016
Amended  IN  Senate  June 06, 2016
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, Nazarian, 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, 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 if the testing is conducted only at specified locations and the autonomous vehicle operates at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour. The bill would require the authority or a private entity, or a combination of the two, to obtain an instrument of insurance, surety bond, or proof of self-insurance in an amount of $5,000,000 prior to the start of testing of any autonomous vehicle on or across a public road and would require evidence of the insurance, surety bond, or proof of self-insurance to be provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the form and manner required by the department. The bill would limit the operator of the autonomous technology to only collect data about the operation of the autonomous vehicle and the environment of the vehicle that is necessary for the operation of the vehicle and not for marketing or other commercial purposes. The bill would authorize the department to require data collection for evaluating the safety of the vehicles.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   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.
 (a) 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 provided the following requirements are met:
(1) The testing shall be conducted only at a privately owned business park designated by the authority, inclusive of public roads within the designated business park, and at GoMentum Station located within the boundaries of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station.
(2) The autonomous vehicle shall operate at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour.
(3) A change in ownership of the property comprising the GoMentum Station shall not affect the authorization to conduct testing pursuant to this section.
(b) Prior to the start of the testing of an autonomous vehicle that does not have an operator on or across a public road, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority or a private entity, or a combination of the two, shall obtain an instrument of insurance, surety bond, or proof of self-insurance in an amount of five million dollars ($5,000,000), and shall provide evidence of the insurance, surety bond, or proof of self-insurance to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the form and manner required by the department.
(c) The operator of the autonomous technology may only collect data about the operation of the autonomous vehicle and the environment of the vehicle that is necessary for the operation of the vehicle and not for marketing or other commercial purposes. The data shall not be retained any longer than is necessary for the operation of the vehicle or for research purposes related to operation of the vehicle. For the testing of autonomous vehicles within the designated business park, the department may require data collection for evaluating the safety of the vehicles.

(b)

(d) This section does not limit the authority of the department to promulgate regulations governing the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads, with or without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle, pursuant to Section 38750.