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Asm Committee To Consider Ting’s Legislation to Strengthen Public Safety When Autonomous Vehicles Operate On CA Streets

For immediate release:

As autonomous vehicles (AVs) become increasingly part of our lives, steps must be taken to ensure safety protocols and traffic laws are followed. After months of engaging industry representatives and local transportation leaders, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has proposed AB 1777, which prioritizes public safety. The Assembly Transportation Committee will be considering the proposal on Monday, April 22, beginning around 12:30 p.m. when floor session adjourns. (Watch here.)

“This technology is moving fast, and our regulations need to catch up. I rode in a driverless car last Fall and found it to be safe. But recent incidents and accidents make it clear there are growing pains, and we must do more to protect passengers, pedestrians and other drivers on the road,” said Ting. “I am also mindful that we should not stifle innovation. AB 1777 strikes a balance between providing a trusted ride service to our residents and visitors, while also allowing the AV industry to grow and improve.”

AB 1777 addresses three areas to increase accountability and oversight of robo-taxis, so that rides and roads are safer:


  • Can be cited for traffic violations, just like a human behind the wheel, when the vehicle is in AV mode
  • Must set up a dedicated phone line for first responders and create procedures to follow when such a call is received
  • Establish geofencing, prohibiting driverless vehicles from accessing certain areas, such as construction zones and road closures, once notified by local government 


  • Allowed to modify permits and place conditions of operation
  • Create a process to certify that an AV can respond to lights and sirens

 Data Collection

  • Submit to the state on a quarterly basis the number of vehicle miles traveled and the number of times an AV automatically stops on a public right-of-way
  • Give copy of collision reports currently required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the state every five days

“AB 1777 addresses regulatory gaps in California’s governance of autonomous vehicles operations through common-sense measures, such as enabling enforcement of AV moving violations, ensuring safe interactions with emergency responders, and increasing the transparency of AV deployments on public roadways," said Tilly Chang, Executive Director for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. "The SFCTA strongly supports AB1777, and we thank Assemblymember Ting for his leadership on this important legislation.”

Note that Monday’s hearing is just the first of many in the months-long legislative process, allowing for more input and refinements.