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Dude, where’s my car’s driver? New DMV rules on driverless cars raise the question: How would you react to a car with no driver?




An experimental Ford Fusion self-driving delivery car is displayed at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 12, 2018.
An experimental Ford Fusion self-driving delivery car is displayed at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 12, 2018.
DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

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Picture this: you pull up to a stoplight and look over at the driver in the car next to you, only to discover that there isn’t one.

How would you react? What would you think?

New rules on autonomous vehicle operations that the California DMV released on Monday get rid of the requirement that a human be in the driver’s seat while a driverless car is operating on the road. The new rule, which will go into effect on April 2, is a big step forward in the deployment and normalization of autonomous vehicles on the road.

What's your take on the DMV's new rules? How do you think you'd react to seeing a car on the road without a driver? What concerns do you have about there not being a driver in the driver's seat, even if there is still someone in the car to take over if necessary?

Guests:

Alex Davies, associate editor for transportation at WIRED Magazine; he tweets @adavies47

Ashley Z. Hand, co-founder of CityFi, a company that focuses on the integration of technology in the urban environment; formerly served as the transportation technology strategist for the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and developed public policy for shared mobility, automated vehicles and other technologies; she tweets @azhandkc