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AB-623 Autonomous vehicles: accident and incident reporting.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/13/2018 09:00 PM
AB623:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 13, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  July 05, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 623


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

February 14, 2017


An act to amend Section Sections 16000 and 38750 of, and to add Section 2407.5 to, the Vehicle Code, relating to autonomous vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 623, as amended, Rodriguez. Autonomous vehicles: accident and incident reporting.
(1) Existing law establishes regulations for the operation of an autonomous vehicle on public roads for testing purposes by a driver who possesses the proper class of license for the type of vehicle being operated if the manufacturer meets prescribed requirements related to the vehicle’s operation, insurance, and testing, as specified. Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to approve an application for operation if a manufacturer meets the requirements to satisfy the department that the autonomous vehicles are safe to operate on public roads. Existing law defines the terms “autonomous technology” and “autonomous vehicle” for these purposes.
This bill would instead require the department to approve an application for operation as described above if the department determines that the autonomous vehicles are properly registered, licensed, and insured, as specified. The bill would revise the definition of “autonomous technology” to mean technology that has the capability to drive a vehicle equipped with an automated driving system and would revise the definition of “autonomous vehicle” to mean a vehicle equipped with an automated driving system. The bill would also define the terms “automated driving system,” “dedicated highly automated vehicle,” and “dynamic driving task” for the purposes described above.

Existing

(2) Existing law requires the driver of every motor vehicle who is involved in an accident that results in damage to the property of any one person in excess of $1,000, or in bodily injury, or in the death of a person, to report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days after the accident, as specified. Under existing law, it is unlawful and constitutes an infraction for any person to violate, or fail to comply with, any provision of the Vehicle Code, unless otherwise specified.
This bill would also require the operator of an autonomous vehicle who is involved in an accident or incident that results in damage to the property of any one person in excess of $1,000, or in bodily injury, or in the death of a person, to make that report. The bill would require a traffic collision report prepared by a member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or any other peace officer to specify if an autonomous vehicle was involved in the traffic collision in any manner. Because a violation of the bill’s reporting requirement would be an infraction, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 2407.5 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

2407.5.
 A traffic collision report prepared by a member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or any other peace officer shall specify if an autonomous vehicle vehicle, as defined in Section 38750, was involved in the traffic collision in any manner.

SEC. 2.

 Section 16000 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

16000.
 (a) The driver of a motor vehicle or the operator of an autonomous vehicle who is in any manner involved in an accident or incident originating from the operation of the motor vehicle or autonomous vehicle on a street or highway, or is involved in a reportable off-highway accident, as defined in Section 16000.1, that has resulted in damage to the property of any one person in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or in bodily injury, or in the death of any person shall report the accident, accident or incident within 10 days after the accident, accident or incident, either personally or through an insurance agent, broker, or legal representative, on a form approved by the department, to the office of the department at Sacramento, subject to this chapter. The driver of a motor vehicle or the operator of an autonomous vehicle shall identify on the form, by name and current residence address, if available, any person involved in the accident or incident complaining of bodily injury.
(b) A report is not required under subdivision (a) if the motor vehicle or autonomous vehicle involved in the accident or incident was owned or leased by, or under the direction of, the United States, this state, another state, or a local agency.
(c) If none of the parties involved in an accident or incident has reported the accident or incident to the department under this section within one year following the date of the accident, accident or incident, the department is not required to file a report on the accident or incident and the driver’s license suspension requirements of Section 16004 or 16070 do not apply.
(d) For purposes of this section, “autonomous vehicle” and “operator” have the same meanings as defined in Section 38750.

SEC. 3.

 Section 38750 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

38750.
 (a) For The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is vested with the authority to develop federal motor vehicle safety standards. Federal motor vehicle safety standards establish minimum performance standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in order to protect the public from unreasonable risk of death, injury, or accidents due to the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle.
(2) The expansion of autonomous technology in vehicles necessitates state action to ensure the consistency and comprehensiveness of federal and state regulation for the safety and protection of people and roadways.
(b) For purposes of this division, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Autonomous technology” means technology that has the capability to drive a vehicle equipped with an automated driving system without the active physical control or monitoring by a human operator.
(2) (A) “Autonomous vehicle” means any vehicle equipped with autonomous technology that has been integrated into that vehicle. an automated driving system.
(B) An autonomous vehicle does not include a vehicle that is equipped with one or more collision avoidance systems, including, but not limited to, electronic blind spot assistance, automated emergency braking systems, park assist, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, traffic jam and queuing assist, or other similar systems that enhance safety or provide driver assistance, but are not capable, collectively or singularly, of driving the vehicle without the active control or monitoring of a human operator.
(3) (A) “Automated driving system” means hardware and software that is collectively capable of performing the entire dynamic driving task on a sustained basis, regardless of whether the system is limited to a specific operational design domain.
(B) The definition of automated driving system also includes the definitions given for Levels 3, 4, or 5 automated driving systems by SAE International’s Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles, standard J3016 published on September 30, 2016.
(4) “Dedicated highly automated vehicle” means a highly automated vehicle designed to be operated exclusively by a Level 4 or 5 automated driving system for all trips, as defined by the SAE International’s Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles, standard J3016 published on September 30, 2016.
(5) (A) “Dynamic driving task” means all of the real-time functions required to operate a vehicle in on-road traffic, excluding selection of final and intermediate destinations, but including without limitation, all of the following:
(i) Object and event detection, recognition, and classification.
(ii) Object and event response.
(iii) Maneuver planning.
(iv) Steering, turning, lane keeping, and lane changing, including providing the appropriate signal for the lane change or turn maneuver.
(v) Acceleration and deceleration.
(B) The definition of dynamic driving task also includes the definition given for that term by SAE International’s Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles, standard J3016 published on September 30, 2016.

(3)

(6) “Department” means the Department of Motor Vehicles.

(4)

(7) An “operator” of an autonomous vehicle is the person who is seated in the driver’s seat, or, if there is no person in the driver’s seat, causes the autonomous technology to engage.

(5)

(8) A “manufacturer” of autonomous technology is the person as defined in Section 470 that originally manufactures a vehicle and equips autonomous technology on the originally completed vehicle or, in the case of a vehicle not originally equipped with autonomous technology by the vehicle manufacturer, the person that modifies the vehicle by installing autonomous technology to convert it to an autonomous vehicle after the vehicle was originally manufactured.

(b)

(c) An autonomous vehicle may be operated on public roads for testing purposes by a driver who possesses the proper class of license for the type of vehicle being operated if all of the following requirements are met:
(1) The autonomous vehicle is being operated on roads in this state solely by employees, contractors, or other persons designated by the manufacturer of the autonomous technology.
(2) The driver shall be seated in the driver’s seat, monitoring the safe operation of the autonomous vehicle, and capable of taking over immediate manual control of the autonomous vehicle in the event of an autonomous technology failure or other emergency.
(3) Prior to the start of testing in this state, the manufacturer performing the testing shall obtain an instrument of insurance, surety bond, or proof of self-insurance in the amount of five million dollars ($5,000,000), and shall provide evidence of the insurance, surety bond, or self-insurance to the department in the form and manner required by the department pursuant to the regulations adopted pursuant to subdivision (d). (e).

(c)

(d) Except as provided in subdivision (b), (c), an autonomous vehicle shall not be operated on public roads until the manufacturer submits an application to the department, and that application is approved by the department pursuant to the regulations adopted pursuant to subdivision (d). (e). The application shall contain, at a minimum, all of the following certifications:
(1) A certification by the manufacturer that the autonomous technology satisfies all of the following requirements:
(A) The autonomous vehicle has a mechanism to engage and disengage the autonomous technology that is easily accessible to the operator.
(B) The autonomous vehicle has a visual indicator inside the cabin to indicate when the autonomous technology is engaged.
(C) The autonomous vehicle has a system to safely alert the operator if an autonomous technology failure is detected while the autonomous technology is engaged, and when an alert is given, the system shall do either of the following:
(i) Require the operator to take control of the autonomous vehicle.
(ii) If the operator does not or is unable to take control of the autonomous vehicle, the autonomous vehicle shall be capable of coming to a complete stop.
(D) The autonomous vehicle shall allow the operator to take control in multiple manners, including, without limitation, through the use of the brake, the accelerator pedal, or the steering wheel, and it shall alert the operator that the autonomous technology has been disengaged.
(E) The autonomous vehicle’s autonomous technology meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for the vehicle’s model year and all other applicable safety standards and performance requirements set forth in state and federal law and the regulations promulgated pursuant to those laws.
(F) The autonomous technology does not make inoperative any Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for the vehicle’s model year and all other applicable safety standards and performance requirements set forth in state and federal law and the regulations promulgated pursuant to those laws.
(G) The autonomous vehicle has a separate mechanism, in addition to, and separate from, any other mechanism required by law, to capture and store the autonomous technology sensor data for at least 30 seconds before a collision occurs between the autonomous vehicle and another vehicle, object, or natural person while the vehicle is operating in autonomous mode. The autonomous technology sensor data shall be captured and stored in a read-only format by the mechanism so that the data is retained until extracted from the mechanism by an external device capable of downloading and storing the data. The data shall be preserved for three years after the date of the collision.
(2) A certification that the manufacturer has tested the autonomous technology on public roads and has complied with the testing standards, if any, established by the department pursuant to subdivision (d). (e).
(3) A certification that the manufacturer will maintain, an instrument of insurance, a surety bond, or proof of self-insurance as specified in regulations adopted by the department pursuant to subdivision (d), (e), in an amount of five million dollars ($5,000,000).

(d)

(e) (1) As soon as practicable, but no later than January 1, 2015, the department shall adopt regulations setting forth requirements for the submission of evidence of insurance, surety bond, or self-insurance required by subdivision (b), (c), and the submission and approval of an application to operate an autonomous vehicle pursuant to subdivision (c). (d).
(2) The regulations shall include any testing, equipment, and performance standards, in addition to those established for purposes of subdivision (b), (c), that the department concludes are necessary to ensure the safe operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads, with or without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle. In developing these regulations, the department may consult with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, or any other entity identified by the department that has expertise in automotive technology, automotive safety, and autonomous system design.
(3) The department may establish additional requirements by the adoption of regulations, which it determines, in consultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, are necessary to ensure the safe operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads, including, but not limited to, regulations regarding the aggregate number of deployments of autonomous vehicles on public roads, special rules for the registration of autonomous vehicles, new license requirements for operators of autonomous vehicles, and rules for revocation, suspension, or denial of any license or any approval issued pursuant to this division.
(4) The department shall hold public hearings on the adoption of any regulation applicable to the operation of an autonomous vehicle without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle.

(e)

(f) (1) The department shall approve an application submitted by a manufacturer pursuant to subdivision (c) (d) if it finds that the applicant has submitted all information and completed testing necessary to satisfy the department that the autonomous vehicles are safe to operate properly registered, licensed, and insured so that they can be operated safely on public roads and the applicant has complied with all requirements specified in the regulations adopted by the department pursuant to subdivision (d). (e).
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if the application seeks approval for autonomous vehicles capable of operating without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle, the department may impose additional requirements it deems necessary to ensure the safe operation of those vehicles, and may require the presence of a driver in the driver’s seat of the vehicle if it determines, based on its review pursuant to paragraph (1), that such a requirement is necessary to ensure the safe operation of those vehicles on public roads.

(f)

(g) The department shall post a public notice on its Internet Web site when it adopts the regulations required by subdivision (d). (e). The department shall not approve an application submitted pursuant to the regulations until 30 days after the public notice is provided.

(g)

(h) Federal regulations promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pursuant to the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381 et seq.) and the Highway Safety Act of 1966 (23 U.S.C. Sec. 401 et seq.) shall supersede the provisions of this division when found to be in conflict with any other state law or regulation.

(h)

(i) The manufacturer of the autonomous technology installed on a vehicle shall provide a written disclosure to the purchaser of an autonomous vehicle that describes what information is collected by the autonomous technology equipped on the vehicle. The department may promulgate regulations to assess a fee upon a manufacturer that submits an application pursuant to subdivision (c) (d) to operate autonomous vehicles on public roads in an amount necessary to recover all costs reasonably incurred by the department.

SEC. 3.SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.