Blind and driving: the debate over who should use driverless cars
A group has asked California's DMV to drop rules that require a licensed driver to be aboard every driverless car.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (WDRB) -- Blind from birth, Jessie Lorenz has been looking forward to the day when driverless cars let her give her 4-year-old daughter a ride to school.
"We have a running bet in my family: who is going to drive first. Me or my kid," Lorenz said during a hearing at California's Department of Motor Vehicles. "Please don't leave my family out in the waiting room."
She was there among representatives for billion dollar businesses and powerful trade groups. All have asked California's DMV to drop rules that require a licensed driver to be aboard every driverless car.
Google officials say the cars they're developing will not have a place for a driver.
"On the basis of the DMV's proposed regulation we are discussing here today [Friday], it will not be available in California," Chris Urmson, a Google representative, said.
But the California DMV is not yet ready to trust driverless cars on their own.
"The purpose for that is simply safety. We want to make sure, this is such a new technology, if something were to disengage, if something were to go wrong, there's a real life human being in the car that can take over," Jaime Garza, a representative for the California DMV, said.
The department also suggested that driverless cars should only be made available for lease at first. That way, if there's a change to regulations or safety issues, a private owner won't be stuck with a car they can't use.
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