Ting Bill Bolstering Public Safety for Autonomous Vehicles Passes out of Committee

Thursday, January 11, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Legislation that would establish public safety measures for companies testing driverless autonomous vehicles by Assemblymember Phil Ting has passed out of the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee.

“As the innovation economy develops new ways for us to get from point A to point B, we must ensure that these advancements don’t jeopardize the safety of the people in our communities,” said Assemblymember Ting (D-San Francisco). “The public safety provisions in AB 87 are critical to maintain public confidence and encourage these innovations to continue.”

AB 87 requires companies testing driverless autonomous vehicles to provide local authorities with a written notice and law enforcement agencies with a law enforcement interaction plan that instructs those agencies on how to interact with the autonomous vehicle in emergency and traffic enforcement situations. The bill also requires basic public safety elements be included in the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regulations to allow safe interaction between driverless autonomous vehicles, human-driven vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.  

“Autonomous vehicles have the potential to decrease the number of crashes tied to human error and behavior. However, it is essential to safe deployment that local government and law enforcement are involved in public safety efforts,” said Cathy DeLuca, Policy and Program Director of Walk San Francisco, a supporter of the bill. “AB 87 is important because it will ensure that companies are accountable to protecting public safety as they develop innovative technologies.”

The DMV has proposed regulations that will allow driverless autonomous vehicles, without a back-up human driver, to be tested on our public roadways. As part of these proposed regulations, the testing companies would be required to provide the local government with notice and a plan for local law enforcement to interact with the autonomous vehicles in cases of emergencies or traffic stops. AB 87 would codify these public safety protections.


Contact: Jessica Duong, (916) 319-2019