California lights up: Commercially available self-driving light trucks are on the road

Light trucks with self-driving capabilities for commercial purposes can now be on the road in California. The process for companies to apply to test or deploy commercial driverless light cards is outlined under new regulations announced Tuesday by the California Institute of Motor Vehicles. The new law, first introduced in April 2019, applies only to self-driving cars weighing less than 1,001 pounds. This means that only Class 1 and Class 2 trucks ( including minivans, pickup trucks , grocery carts and scooters) are licensed for testing and commercial delivery.

California lights up: Commercially available self-driving light trucks are on the road

Image: Nuro

Under the new regulations, all vehicles from class 3 to 8, weighing more than 1,001 pounds (including walk-in trucks, semi-trucks, buses and heavy engineering vehicles) are not allowed to carry out commercial self-driving on-road roads. That’s good news for companies that focus on grocery and package delivery. Nuro, a self-driving delivery start-up already piloting programs in Arizona and Texas, said it would apply for permission to begin testing its self-driving vehicles in California.

Officials say 65 companies are now licensed for use, and more than 670 self-driving cars are licensed by the DMV. Waymo is the only company licensed to test fully driverless vehicles on public roads, which are vehicles that do not have a driver behind the wheel.

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