Los Angeles Collegian Online

California paves way for AV industry

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The public utility administration agency plans to begin regulating safe passenger transportation services, rate fares, and companies who offer shared trips to the public.

(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), a regulatory body, approved two autonomous vehicles (AV) programs that may aid many who are left back by lingering pandemic, low wage skill market in a relentless public battle to cut back on fuel missions.

California leads the biggest industry incentivizing autonomous vehicle transportation with the growth of renewable energy in policy making for transition with an out-of-touch transportation industry delayed by labor policy.

The Driver Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program and the Driverless Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program can help innovation to offer passenger service, shared rides, and accept monetary compensation for rides in autonomous vehicles.

Companies must hold either a Charter-Party Carrier Class P permit or a Class A charter party certificate in the Driver AV Passenger Service Pilot Program issued by the CPUC, and a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) AV Deployment Permit to participate in both passenger service programs in the state.

“Today we usher in an important milestone for the CPUC’s regulation of transportation in California by authorizing an expanded deployment framework for autonomous vehicles that protects passenger safety, expands autonomous vehicle availability to all of Californians, including disadvantaged and low-income communities, and works to reduce greenhouse gases,” Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma said. “This Decision also takes important steps to support our study of how autonomous vehicle fleets can be leveraged to support the grid as a demand-side management resource, dovetailing on our efforts to incorporate transportation into the electric sector.”

Permit holders in the new driverless deployment program must submit a Passenger Safety Plan that outlines policies and procedures to minimize risk for all passengers in the driverless vehicles, including those with limited mobility, vision impairments, or other disabilities. Additionally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, permit holders in the program must submit a COVID-19 Emergency Plan following guidance on preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

The decision establishes four goals that apply to both the existing pilot programs and the new deployment programs to protect passenger safety, expand the benefits of autonomous vehicle technologies to all of California’s communities, improve transportation options for all,particularly for disadvantaged communities and low-income communities and, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, particularly in disadvantaged communities. The CPUC will collect data to monitor the participants’ progress toward each of the goals.

By Diego ChavezCadena

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