Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Programs
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have been authorized for testing and deploying passenger service by charter-party carriers (TCPs) who also possess the required authority from DMV for AV testing or deployment on public roads in California.
On May 31, 2018, pursuant to Decision 18-05-043 (Text of Decision | Press Release), the Commission authorized two pilot programs for the private prearranged transportation of passengers in test autonomous vehicles (AVs):
- The "Drivered AV Passenger Service" pilot program allows for the provision of passenger service in test AVs with a driver in the vehicle. Under this pilot program, a safety driver is available to assist with operations if needed.
- The "Driverless AV Passenger Service" pilot program allows for the provision of passenger service in test AVs without a driver in the vehicle. Under this pilot program, a communication link between passengers and "remote operators" of the vehicle must be available and maintained at all times during passenger service.
To be eligible to participate in the Commission's AV Passenger Service pilot programs, participants must possess the appropriate corresponding Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program Manufacturer's Testing Permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for AV testing with a driver or testing without a driver and comply fully with DMV's AV testing regulations (California Code of Regulations, Title 13, Article 3.7).
Under the AV Passenger Service pilot programs, monetary compensation may not be charged for any rides in test AVs.
On November 20, 2020, pursuant to Decision 20-11-046 (Text of Decision | Press Release), the Commission authorized Phase I of two deployment programs: one for drivered and one for driverless autonomous vehicle service. Under the Phase I Deployment Programs, participants are authorized to charge fares for AV passenger service. In addition, applicants to the Driverless Pilot Program and the Driverless Phase I Deployment Program are required to submit Passenger Safety Plans that outline their plans to protect passenger safety. Applicants in the Commission's AV deployment programs must obtain an Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Autonomous Vehicle Application Process and Reports
Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Workshops
- October 22, 2019: Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program Workshop
- Webex Session Recording
- CPUC and DMV Presentation (revised 10/31/19)
- Pilot Participants Presentations (Note: links to videos are included in the presentation themselves)
- Related Information
Autonomous Vehicle Related Commission News and Updates
Mail: CPUC Transportation License Section
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102