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California mulls how to regulate 'driverless cars'

California's Department of Motor Vehicles is wading into

California's Department of Motor Vehicles is wading into the complex question of how to regulate the use of cars that rely on computers — not people — to drive them. Credit: iStock

LOS ANGELES - California's Department of Motor Vehicles is wading into the complex question of how to regulate the use of cars that rely on computers — not people — to drive them.

Once the stuff of science fiction, "Driverless cars" could be commercially available by decade's end.

On Tuesday, the DMV is hearing ideas on how to integrate the cars onto public roads. Questions range from data privacy and security — to whether a person will have to be in the driver's seat at all.

The DMV already has drafted rules governing how companies can test the technology. Google had been testing on highways and in neighborhoods well before the Legislature decided to regulate.

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