Lawmaker Seeks Harsher Penalties For Unpermitted Self-Driving Cars

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – New legislation proposed by a Bay Area lawmaker would increase the penalties for companies that test self-driving cars without proper permits.

“We want to make sure that every self-driving vehicle on the road is safe,” Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) told KCBS. “There’s a specific process that 20 companies in California have already taken and have gotten the appropriate permits.”

Ting said that the companies that have gotten the proper permits to test self-driving cars include Tesla and Google. But for those companies that haven’t, the law would allow their vehicles to be impounded.

The lawmaker said there would be additional penalties.

“It ensures and instructs DMV to revoke their registration immediately. And it also creates a penalty, a significant penalty. And also does not allow a company to bring back cars on the road for about two years,” Ting said.

Ting was inspired to introduce the legislation after Uber put self-driving cars on San Francisco streets without the proper permits.

Uber since has moved the self-driving fleet to Arizona.

The ride-hailing company did not immediately respond to requests from comment on this story.

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