California's Department of Motor Vehicles formally proposed rules this week that will govern how everyday people can get robocars.
Although you can't run out to buy a self-driving car just yet, automated vehicles could hit the market sooner than previously expected.
But there's still a few safety issues to work out. More than 42 companies in California have testing permits requiring a trained safety driver behind the wheel. But even with that safety driver, technology malfunctions have caused a few accidents.
Tesla Inc. is still perfecting the technology for full self-driving and won’t make it available to owners without regulatory approval.
According to Mercedes, BMW, Ford, Nissan and Volvo, it will be closer to 2020 before self-driving vehicles are available and possibly confined to ride-hailing fleets and other shared applications.
Also, unlike previous versions, the regulations announced Wednesday would follow the federal government by letting companies self-certify the technology is road ready.
The House passed a bill permitting automakers to seek an exemption to safety regulations, such as making cars without a steering wheel and allow the sale of hundreds of thousands of self-driving cars.