Operating the Easymile vehicle on public roads is actually the third phase of testing for this initiative, following two years of tests at AV proving grounds and in parking lots. The 585-acre Bishop Ranch site was reportedly the selected spot due to its reputation as a “dynamic center for modern business.”
Though officials have called this latest achievement a milestone for California, they’ve also made it clear the permission for this initiative is separate from the California DMV’s AV testing program that has been underway since 2014. AVs have actually been tested across the state for quite some time now, making California a leader in autonomous technology. Last week, the DMV even announced it will allow auto companies to test their self-driving vehicles on public roads without a human safety driver in the vehicle, following permitting processes in April.
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