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A group of self driving Uber vehicles position themselves to take journalists on rides during a media preview at Uber's Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. Starting Wednesday morning, Sept. 14, 2016 dozens of self-driving Ford Fusions will pick up riders who opted into a test program with Uber. While the vehicles are loaded with features that allow them to navigate on their own, an Uber engineer will sit in the driver’s seat and seize control if things go awry. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

In California, self-driving cars might not need a licensed driver inside


In the not-too-distant future, you'll probably be in a self-driving car. And in California, not a single passenger in that car will need a license before the car can take off.

That future was described by California's Department of Motor Vehicles on Friday, when the department outlined new regulations for the booming self-driving car industry

If officials deem the cars safe enough, nobody in the car would need a license to operate it.

The regulations will be subject to a public hearing on October 19, The Guardian reports.

Back in December, the agency's initial rules required a licensed driver. But industry experts have envisioned cars that don't need humans, even as a backup, to drive. 

The federal Department of Transportation released its own guidelines for driverless cars last week.

Uber employees test the self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid cars in Pittsburgh, Pa on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)
Uber employees test the self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid cars in Pittsburgh, Pa on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)

So is this coming any time soon?

Not quite yet. Most self-driving cars are still being tested and refined. Even the fleet of self-driving Ubers currently on Pittsburgh's streets have a human acting as a backup.

California's new rules also included language that would prevent cars with features like Tesla's Autopilot from calling themselves "self-driving," since that definition of self-driving isn't exactly literal - it assumes there's still a conscious driver behind the wheel.

 It also followed suit with the federal guidelines and dropped a requirement to have a third-party company separately certify that self-driving cars were safe enough for the streets.

Who should be in charge of regulating self-driving cars?

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