California Moves to Limit Autonomous Trucks

A bill passed by the State Assembly and moving on to the Senate would require autonomous semi trucks to have a trained human operator in the vehicle.

1 minute read

June 2, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


According to an article by Maggie Angst in The Sacramento Bee, “California assembly members on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to pass Assembly Bill 316, a proposal with bipartisan support to require a trained individual to sit behind the wheel of autonomous semitrucks and big rigs.”

Angst explains, “Current state law, established by the DMV, allows testing and deployment of driverless light-duty autonomous vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or less — stopping short of allowing the same for long-haul trucks and big rigs with autonomous capabilities.”

The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, said “we need to make sure that the roads are safe for the sake of our constituents and that jobs are safe for our truck drivers.” The bill is supported by truck drivers, who fear the loss of jobs to autonomous vehicles. “Supporters say the regulation would help protect people traveling on California roadways and support the livelihoods of truck drivers across the state.” 

The move was criticized by industry leaders, who say the state should wait for federal guidance before deploying its own regulations on self-driving trucks. “Permitting the testing and deployment of autonomous trucks in California would help eliminate human errors, such as texting and driving and distraction, that contribute to traffic fatalities,” said Mufaddal Ezzy, senior director of state public affairs for software company Aurora.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in The Sacramento Bee

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Street scene in Greenwich Village, New York City with people walking through busy intersection and new WTC tower in background.

Planning for Accessibility: Proximity is More Important than Mobility

Accessibility-based planning minimizes the distance that people must travel to reach desired services and activities. Measured this way, increased density can provide more total benefits than increased speeds.

April 14, 2024 - Todd Litman

Wood-frame two-story rowhouses under construction.

Fair Housing Cannot Take a Back Seat to ‘Build, Baby, Build’

If we overlook fair housing principles in the plan to build US housing back better, we risk ending up right back where we started.

April 11, 2024 - James Jennings

"No 710" lawn sign on green lawn.

LA Metro Board Approves New 710 Freeway Plan

The newest plan for the 710 corridor claims it will not displace any residents.

April 22 - Streetsblog LA

Close-up of row of electric cars plugged into chargers at outdoor station.

Austin’s Proposed EV Charging Rules Regulate Station Locations, Size

City planners say the new rules would ensure an efficient distribution of charging infrastructure across the city and prevent an overconcentration in residential areas.

April 22 - Austin Monitor

Green hills with orange California poppies in bloom in foreground in Chino Hills State Park, California.

Making California State Parks More Climate-Resilient

A recently released report offers recommendations for keeping state parks healthy and robust, including acquiring additional land for conservation and recreation.

April 22 - Spectrum News 1

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.