Want a self-driving car? Regulators consider public use

An autonomous vehicle is parked for its test drive in Singapore Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The world’s first self-driving taxis, operated by nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle software startup, will be picking up passengers in Singapore starting Thursday, Aug. 25. The service will start small - six cars now, growing to a dozen by the end of the year. The ultimate goal, say nuTonomy officials, is to have a fully self-driving taxi fleet in Singapore by 2018, which will help sharply cut the number of cars on Singapore’s congested roads. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
An autonomous vehicle is parked for its test drive in Singapore Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The world’s first self-driving taxis, operated by nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle software startup, will be picking up passengers in Singapore starting Thursday, Aug. 25. The service will start small - six cars now, growing to a dozen by the end of the year. The ultimate goal, say nuTonomy officials, is to have a fully self-driving taxi fleet in Singapore by 2018, which will help sharply cut the number of cars on Singapore’s congested roads. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Members of the public will get a chance to tell California regulators what they think about proposed regulations that would – eventually – permit self-driving cars that lack a steering wheel or pedals on public roads.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is hosting the hearing Wednesday in the state Capitol. Both representatives of companies developing these cars of the future and skeptics who worry regulators are being pushed to embrace a technology that is not ready for the masses plan to testify.

For now, self-driving cars are still in the prototype testing phase. Their most bullish supporters suggest they could be ready within a year or two. The proposed regulations will govern how everyday people can get and use the cars once companies believe they are ready to be used by the public.

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