In California, allowed light truckDecember 23, 2019
State authorities have introduced rules that allow you to test and use autonomous freight transport on public roads. This will spur industry development.
The California Department of Transportation authorized the use of small autonomous vehicles to transport goods on public roads. The new rule formalizes the process of issuing permits to companies that plan to test this technology or make money using it.
According to Verge, the changes will affect light cargo robotic vehicles, vans and delivery robots weighing less than 4536 kg. Heavier autonomous trucks are not subject to the new rule.
The decision of the California authorities is good news for companies that focus on the delivery of goods and parcels, rather than people.
For example, Nuro, an unmanned delivery startup, has already announced that it will apply for a job in California. The company had previously launched pilot programs in Arizona and Texas.
Industry giants, including Waymo, Uber and General Motors, are also expected to respond to the changes.
California is considered the foremost state in terms of the development of unmanned vehicles. Local authorities have already issued 65 permits for testing passenger robotic vehicles. In particular, Waymo received permission to test autonomous cars without a man in a driver’s seat on public roads. The Chinese company AutoX requested a similar permission, but has not yet received approval.
Meanwhile, modeling shows that modern urban infrastructure is poorly suited for swarm vehicles. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this — for example, changing how traffic lights work at intersections.
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