CPUC Approves Pilot Program for Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a final decision in the Transportation Network Company (TNC) rulemaking proceeding authorizing two pilot programs for providers of passenger service using autonomous vehicles (AVs). The first pilot allows charter party carriers that meet all applicable California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) permitting requirements to provide passenger service using AVs with a driver in the vehicle. The second pilot program allows permitted entities to provide passenger service using AVs without a driver in the vehicle, again subject to DMV regulations.

This decision postpones action on proposals by auto manufacturers and TNCs to provide other passenger service once AVs are approved by the DMV for full deployment. The CPUC will hold workshops to address these proposals, based on reports on the pilot programs, and also consider whether to establish new permitting requirements with terms and conditions specific to AV service.

The CPUC AV decision is available here. For more information please contact Lynn Haug at lmh(at)eslawfirm.com.