California allows companies to charge for autonomous car rides

Today is the start of a new era.  On November 3 we voted to support the right of Uber/Lyft drivers to work without belonging to a union or forced to work full time for a corporation.  That is good news for them.   Now, here is the bad news:  California is now allowing driverless cars to pick up people and take them to their destination—and charge for it.

“One of the most common potential scenarios involving autonomous cars is using them as driverless taxis; both Uber and Lyft have made self-driving cars a big part of their future strategies. The possibility of hopping into a ride without a driver just got a little closer, at least in California — as spotted by The Verge, California approved two new autonomous driving programs last week that let companies charge fares for autonomous rides.

The two new programs are the “Drivered Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program” and the “Driverless Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program,” both of which allow approved participants to offer “passenger service, shared rides, and accept monetary compensation for rides in autonomous vehicles.”

This will create a massive dislocation of part time workers.  It is a massive change.  While it will take a few years for the State to be fully populated with these driverless cars, expect big cities to be the first.  The fact that Democrats tried to use government to own Uber/Lyft workers, is the factor behind the push to get driverless cars on the streets.

California allows companies to charge for autonomous car rides

It’s the first time companies have been able to charge for driverless rides.

Nathan Ingrahamm,  Engadget,   11/23/20   

One of the most common potential scenarios involving autonomous cars is using them as driverless taxis; both Uber and Lyft have made self-driving cars a big part of their future strategies. The possibility of hopping into a ride without a driver just got a little closer, at least in California — as spotted by The Verge, California approved two new autonomous driving programs last week that let companies charge fares for autonomous rides.

The two new programs are the “Drivered Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program” and the “Driverless Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program,” both of which allow approved participants to offer “passenger service, shared rides, and accept monetary compensation for rides in autonomous vehicles.”

Naturally, interested companies need to get the necessary permits and show the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that they’re taking the proper safety measure. They’ll need to get a AV Deployment Permit from California’s DMV as well as one of two permits issued by CPUC. Companies are also required to submit trip data on a quarterly basis, including anonymized pick-up and drop-off locations for individual trips. Companies will also need to provide data and reports on availability and volume of wheelchair-accessible rides, service levels to “disadvantaged” communities, fuel type and electric charging details, vehicle miles traveled both with and without passengers and “engagement with advocates for accessibility and disadvantaged communities.”

Permit-holders will also be required to submit a passenger safety plan to outline how they’ll minimize risk to passengers, including people with “limited mobility, vision impairments, or other disabilities.” Finally, permit-holders will also need to submit COVID-19 emergency plans detailing how they’ll prevent the transmission of the coronavirus. These new programs should open up the driverless ride-share market beyond its current small footprint — but given that autonomous vehicle technology is still very much a work in progress, chances are most California residents won’t be getting into a car without a driver any time soon.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. One of the primary excuses by anti car groups has been accidents. Cars Are Basic, Inc. has made the point that for a minimum of 5 years technology has solved this issue.

    When you consider a majority of auto turn over (sales) occur within 5 years and within a decade almost 80% of them are now “new” cars the radical drum beat to destroy street flow to solve accidents has been almost eliminated.

    AI tech. to handle lane change issues, auto braking when objects are sensed, video screens, etc. has in the past decade been installed in most new cars. With this action the State of California has given its seal of approval and certified the technology. This means narrowed streets, and 20 mph travel is ancient history. Return to 1920’s streets is both irrational and less than intelligent.

    There is a side effect the AI people first denied and now accept. Many people who could not have a car for safety reasons will soon be able to have one and it will in crease the numbers of vehicles on streets and highways.

    For more information or help in transportation issues contact CarsAreBasic.org

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