Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 13, § 227.38 - Manufacturer's Permit to Test Autonomous Vehicles That Do Not Require a Driver

A manufacturer desiring to conduct testing of autonomous vehicles capable of operating without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle on public roads in California shall submit an application for a permit to conduct driverless testing to the department on an Autonomous Vehicle Tester (AVT) Program Application for a Manufacturer's Testing Permit -- Driverless Vehicles, form OL 318 (Rev. 7/2020), which is hereby incorporated by reference. Notwithstanding the requirements of Sections 227.04(b), 227.24, 227.26(a) and (b), 227.32, 227.34, and 227.36, a manufacturer may conduct testing of autonomous vehicles capable of operating without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle on public roads in California if all of the following requirements are met:

(a) The manufacturer certifies that the local authorities, as defined in Vehicle Code section 385, within the jurisdiction where the vehicle will be tested have been provided a written notification, a copy of which must be submitted to the department, that contains all of the following:
(1) The operational design domain of the test vehicles.
(2) A list of all public roads in the jurisdiction where the vehicles will be tested.
(3) The date that testing will begin.
(4) The days and times that testing will be conducted on public roads.
(5) The number of vehicles to be tested and the types of vehicles to be tested.
(6) Contact information, including name, telephone number, address, and email for the contact person for the manufacturer conducting the testing.
(b) The manufacturer certifies that the autonomous test vehicle complies with the all of the following:
(1) There is a communication link between the vehicle and the remote operator to provide information on the vehicle's location and status and allow two-way communication between the remote operator and any passengers if the vehicle experiences any failures that would endanger the safety of the vehicle's passengers or other road users, or otherwise prevent the vehicle from functioning as intended, while operating without a driver. The certification shall include:
(A) That the manufacturer will continuously monitor the status of the vehicle and the two-way communication link while the autonomous test vehicle is being operated without a driver;
(B) A description of how the manufacturer will monitor the communication link; and,
(C) An explanation of how all of the vehicles tested by the manufacturer will be monitored.
(2) There is a process to display or communicate vehicle owner or operator information as specified in Vehicle Code section 16025 in the event that the vehicle is involved in a collision or if there is a need to provide that information to a law enforcement officer for any reason.
(3) The subject autonomous vehicles comply with all required Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 571 and the California Vehicle Code, Division 12 (Equipment of Vehicles), except for manufacturers exempt from such requirements pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 30112(b)(10). Alternatively, the manufacturer shall provide evidence of an exemption that has been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
(c) The manufacturer certifies that the autonomous vehicles are capable of operating without the presence of a driver inside the vehicle and that the autonomous technology meets the description of a level 4 or level 5 automated driving system under SAE International's Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Driving Automation Systems for On-Road Motor Vehicles, standard J3016 (APR2021), as may be revised, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
(d) The manufacturer informs the department of the intended operational design domains of the autonomous vehicle.
(e) The manufacturer provides a copy of a law enforcement interaction plan, which includes information that the manufacturer will make available to the law enforcement agencies and other first responders in the vicinity of the operational design domains of the autonomous vehicles that will instruct those agencies on how to interact with the vehicle in emergency and traffic enforcement situations. For the purposes of this section "first responder" means law enforcement, fire department, and emergency medical personnel.
(1) The law enforcement interaction plan shall include, but not be limited to the following:
(A) How to communicate with a remote operator of the vehicle who is available at all times that the vehicle is in operation, including providing a contact telephone number for the manufacturer;
(B) Where, in the vehicle, to obtain owner information, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance in the event of a collision or traffic violation involving the vehicle;
(C) How to safely remove the vehicle from the roadway;
(D) How to recognize whether the vehicle is in autonomous mode, and if possible, how to safely disengage the autonomous mode;
(E) How to detect and ensure that the autonomous mode has actually been deactivated,
(F) How to safely interact with electric and hybrid vehicles, when applicable.
(G) A description of the operational design domain of the vehicle.
(H) Any additional information the manufacturer deems necessary regarding hazardous conditions or public safety risks associated with the operation of the autonomous vehicle.
(2) The law enforcement interaction plan shall be reviewed on a regular basis by the manufacturer and updated as changes are needed, but no less than an annual basis.
(3) Within 10 days of approval of the testing application, the manufacturer shall submit the law enforcement interaction plan to the California Highway Patrol by E-mail to, AVUnit@chp.ca.gov.
(4) Manufacturers shall provide other law enforcement agencies and first responders in the vicinity of the operational design domain where testing of driverless autonomous vehicles is being conducted and the department with the internet web site address where the law enforcement interaction plan may be accessed.
(f) The manufacturer shall maintain a training program for its remote operators and certify that each remote operator has completed training sufficient to enable him or her to safely execute the duties of a remote operator and possesses the proper class of license for the type of test vehicle being operated. The manufacturer shall provide the department with a course outline and description of the remote operator training program and the date that each remote operator completed the program. The remote operator training program shall include, but not be limited to the following:
(1) Instruction on the automated driving system technology being tested, including how to respond to emergency situations and hazardous driving scenarios that could be experienced by the vehicle or the vehicle's occupants.
(2) The instruction shall match the level and technical maturity of the automated driving system.
(g) Manufacturers that have publicly disclosed an assessment demonstrating their approaches to achieving safety shall provide the department with a copy of that assessment.
(h) The manufacturer shall disclose to any passenger in the vehicle that is not an employee, contractor, or designee of the manufacturer what personal information, if any, that may be collected about the passenger and how it will be used.
(i) The manufacturer shall submit the fee of three thousand six hundred dollars ($3,600.00) for the processing of the application which will accommodate up to 10 driverless autonomous test vehicles. The manufacturer may supplement the application with additional pages to add more than 10 vehicles by submitting the additional fee of fifty dollars ($50) for each set of 1 to 10 vehicles.
(j) Within ten (10) days of any change to the contact information or the name of the manufacturer provided on the Application for Manufacturer's Testing Permit -- Driverless Vehicles, a manufacturer shall notify the department in writing on the manufacturer's letterhead of the change, including changes in contact names, telephone numbers, or mailing address.
(k) The manufacturer shall submit a revised form OL 318 as specified in subdivision (m) of this section prior to implementing changes to:
(1) Make the vehicle capable of operation at a SAE International level that is different than and/or in addition to the level in the approved permit.
(2) Make the vehicle capable of operation on a roadway type that is different than and/or in addition to those in the approved permit.
(3) Increase the maximum speed of the vehicle by more than 15 miles per hour.
(4) Make the vehicle capable of operation in geographic areas different than and/or in addition to those in the approved permit.
(l) Any changes or modifications to the Manufacturer's Testing Permit -- Driverless Vehicles required by the manufacturer during the term of the permit shall be accomplished by submitting a revised form OL 318 and submit the additional fee of seventy dollars ($70) for the processing of the modification.

Notes

Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 13, § 227.38
1. New section filed 5-19-2014; operative 9-16-2014 pursuant to Vehicle Code section 38750(f) (Register 2014, No. 21).
2. Renumbering of former section 227.38 to section 227.44 and new section 227.38 filed 2-26-2018; operative 4-1-2018 (Register 2018, No. 9).
3. Change without regulatory effect amending form OL 318, Autonomous Vehicle Tester (AVT) Program Application for a Manufacturer's Testing Permit -- Driverless Vehicles (incorporated by reference) amending first paragraph filed 4-15-2021 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2021, No. 16).
4. Change without regulatory effect amending subsection (c) filed 4-5-2022 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2022, No. 14).

Note: Authority cited: Sections 1651 and 38750, Vehicle Code. Reference: Sections 385, 16025 and 38750, Vehicle Code; and Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 571.

1. New section filed 5-19-2014; operative 9/16/2014 pursuant to Vehicle Code section 38750(f) (Register 2014, No. 21).
2. Renumbering of former section 227.38 to section 227.44 and new section 227.38 filed 2-26-2018; operative 4/1/2018 (Register 2018, No. 9).
3. Change without regulatory effect amending form OL 318, Autonomous Vehicle Tester (AVT) Program Application for a Manufacturer's Testing Permit - Driverless Vehicles (incorporated by reference) amending first paragraph filed 4-15-2021 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2021, No. 16).
4. Change without regulatory effect amending subsection (c) filed 4-5-2022 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2022, No. 14).

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