Bill Text: CA SB915 | 2023-2024 | Regular Session | Amended

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Local government: autonomous vehicle service.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2024-05-22 - In Assembly. Read first time. Held at Desk. [SB915 Detail]

Download: California-2023-SB915-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  April 01, 2024

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2023–2024 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 915


Introduced by Senator Cortese
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Rodriguez)

January 09, 2024


An act to add Section 53075.1 to the Government Code, relating to local government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 915, as amended, Cortese. Local government: autonomous vehicles.
Existing law authorizes an autonomous vehicle, as defined, to be operated on public roads for testing purposes by a driver who possesses the proper class of license for the type of vehicle being operated if certain requirements are met, including that the vehicle is being operated solely by employees, contractors, or other persons designated by the manufacturer. Existing law prohibits an autonomous vehicle from being operated on public roads until the manufacturer submits an application to the Department of Motor Vehicles containing certain certifications regarding safety and other technological requirements and the department approves that application pursuant to adopted regulations. Existing law, commencing January 1, 2030, and to the extent authorized by federal law, prohibits the operation of certain new autonomous vehicles that are not zero-emission vehicles, as defined.
Existing law provides for the local regulation of certain types of transportation services, including taxicab companies. Existing law requires each city or county in which a taxicab company is substantially located to adopt an ordinance or resolution in regards to taxicab transportation service, which that includes provisions for a permitting program for taxicab drivers. Under existing law, it is unlawful to operate a taxicab company without a valid permit to operate issued by each city or county in which the taxicab company is substantially located.
This bill would prohibit an autonomous vehicle service, which that has received approval to conduct commercial passenger service or engage in commercial activity using driverless vehicles by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Public Utilities Commission, or another state agency, from commencing operation within a local jurisdiction until authorized by a local ordinance enacted pursuant to the bill’s provisions. The bill would authorize each city, county, or city and county in which an autonomous vehicle has received authorization to operate, to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by adopting enacting an ordinance or resolution in regard to autonomous vehicle services within that jurisdiction. The bill would require each city, county, or city and county that adopts enacts an ordinance or resolution to include certain provisions within that ordinance or resolution. ordinance. These would include a policy for entry into the business of providing autonomous vehicle services including a permitting program, program that includes, among other things, the establishment of reasonable vehicle caps and hours of service restrictions, and the establishment of an interoperability or override system accessible by first responders in case of an emergency. restrictions.
The bill would authorize each city, county, or city and county to levy service charges, fees, or assessments in the amount sufficient to pay for the costs of carrying out an ordinance or resolution adopted enacted in regard to autonomous vehicle services. The bill would require a permitted autonomous vehicle service conducting commercial passenger service to take various actions, including maintaining reasonable financial responsibility and keeping its vehicles in safe operating condition, as specified. The bill would make it unlawful to operate an autonomous vehicle service without a valid permit to operate issued by the local jurisdiction in which the service is substantially located, operates, with violations subject to administrative fines. The bill would also authorize a city, county, or city and county to enter into an agreement with another city, county, or city and county to form a joint powers authority or into an agreement with a transit agency for the purpose of regulating or administering autonomous vehicle services within jurisdictional boundaries. To the extent the bill would impose new duties on local jurisdictions, it would create a state-mandated local program.
The bill would include findings that changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California has witnessed the growth and expansion of autonomous vehicle services in urban areas across the state, including the bay area and Los Angeles.
(b) The approval and deployment of autonomous vehicle services in California is governed entirely by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Public Utilities Commission, and currently allows for minimal local control or public input.
(c) The deployment of autonomous vehicle services, over the objections of local government, the general public, law enforcement, and emergency responders, has led to numerous accidents, injuries, and traffic congestion.
(d) Given the localized nature of transportation, the deployment and regulation of autonomous vehicle services requires local approval and local control.
(e) This act shall be known as the “Autonomous Vehicle Service Deployment and Data Transparency Act (AVS-DDTA).”
(f) The purpose of this act is to prioritize local control in the decision to deploy autonomous vehicle services, where an entity has already received any deployment approval by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Public Utilities Commission, or any other state agency.

SEC. 2.

 Section 53075.1 is added to the Government Code, to read:

53075.1.
 (a) Upon receiving approval to conduct commercial passenger service or engage in commercial activity using driverless vehicles by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Public Utilities Commission, or any other state agency, an autonomous vehicle service shall not commence operation within a local jurisdiction until authorized by a local ordinance enacted pursuant to this section.
(b) Notwithstanding Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 5351) of Division 2 of the Public Utilities Code, every city, county, or city and county in which an autonomous vehicle service has received authorization to operate, may protect the public health, safety, and welfare by adopting enacting an ordinance or resolution in regard to autonomous vehicle services within the jurisdiction of the city, county, or city and county.
(c) Each city, county, or city and county that adopts enacts an ordinance or resolution pursuant to subdivision (b) this section shall provide, at a minimum, a policy for entry into the business of providing autonomous vehicle services in that ordinance or resolution. ordinance. The policy shall include, but not be limited to, a permitting program for autonomous vehicle services that includes all of the following provisions:
(1) The establishment or registration of rates for the provision of an autonomous vehicle service conducting commercial passenger service that meets the following requirements:
(A) The autonomous vehicle service may set fares or charge a flat rate. However, the city, county, or city and county may set a maximum rate.
(B) The autonomous vehicle service may use any type of device or technology approved by the Division of Measurement Standards to calculate fares, including the use of Global Positioning System metering, provided that the device or technology complies with Section 12500.5 of the Business and Professions Code and with all regulations established pursuant to Section 12107 of the Business and Professions Code.
(C) The autonomous vehicle service shall disclose fares, fees, or rates to the customer. A permitted robotaxi company autonomous vehicle service may satisfy this requirement by disclosing fares, fees, or rates on its internet website, mobile telephone application, or telephone orders upon request by the customer. The rate may also be provided on the exterior of the vehicle or be clearly visible in either print or electronic form inside the robotaxi. vehicle.
(2) The establishment of reasonable vehicle caps and hours of service restrictions.

(3)The establishment of a certification process to ensure that all autonomous vehicle services comply with the state and federal disability access laws.

(4)

(3) The establishment of a fee schedule and disciplinary process for any moving violations or traffic obstruction caused during the operation of a vehicle by an autonomous vehicle service.

(5)The establishment of an interoperability or override system accessible by first responders in the case of an emergency.

(6)The establishment of any data transparency of sharing agreements necessary to administer or carry out an ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (b).

(d) Each city, county, or city and county may levy service charges, fees, or assessments in an amount sufficient to pay for the costs of carrying out an ordinance or resolution adopted enacted in regard to autonomous vehicle services pursuant to this section.
(e) A permitted autonomous vehicle service conducting commercial passenger service shall do all of the following:
(1) Maintain reasonable financial responsibility to conduct passenger transportation services in accordance with the requirements of an ordinance or resolution adopted enacted pursuant to subdivision (b). this section.
(2) (A) Ensure that its service complies with the state and federal disability access laws.

(2)

(B) Maintain a disabled access education and training program to instruct its employees on compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.) and amendments thereto, and state disability rights laws, including making clear that it is illegal to decline to serve a person with a disability or who has a service animal.
(3) Maintain its motor vehicles used in passenger transportation services in a safe operating condition, and in compliance with the Vehicle Code, subject to annual inspection by the city, county, or city and county in which it is substantially located, operates, at a facility that is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence or a facility registered with the Bureau of Automotive Repair.
(4) Provide the city, county, or city and county that has issued a permit under this section an address of an office or terminal where documents supporting the factual matters specified in the showing required by this subdivision may be inspected by the permitting city, county, or city and county.
(5) (A) Include an interoperability or override system in each of its vehicles accessible by first responders in case of an emergency.
(B) Provide training for first responders on how to interact with the vehicles and the use of the override system. The training shall be updated when electronic updates that affect how the interoperability or override system operates are pushed to the vehicles.
(6) Establish data transparency sharing agreements necessary to administer or carry out an ordinance enacted pursuant to this section.

(5)

(7) Comply with all provisions of an ordinance adopted enacted pursuant to this section.
(f) (1) It shall be unlawful to operate an autonomous vehicle service without a valid permit to operate issued by each city, county, or city and county in which the service is substantially located. operates.
(2) The minimum fine for violation of paragraph (1) shall be five thousand dollars ($5,000) and may be imposed administratively by the permitting city, county, or city and county.
(g)  A city or county may do any of the following:
(1) Enter into an agreement with any other city, county, or city and county to form a joint powers authority for the purpose of regulating or administering autonomous vehicle services that are substantially located operate within the jurisdictional boundaries of the joint powers authority. For purposes of this paragraph, an autonomous vehicle service is substantially located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the joint powers authority if it is substantially located within one of the parties to the joint powers agreement.
(2) Enter into an agreement with a transit agency for the purpose of regulating or administering the autonomous vehicle service substantially located that operates within the jurisdictional boundaries of the transit agency. For purposes of this paragraph, an autonomous vehicle service is substantially located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the transit agency if it is substantially located within the city or county that enters into an agreement pursuant to this clause, and the The transit agency may exercise all powers granted to the city or county that is a party to the agreement by this section in order to regulate or administer robotaxi companies autonomous vehicle services within those boundaries.
(h) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Autonomous vehicle service” means any entity that has received authority to conduct commercial passenger service or engage in commercial activity using driverless vehicles by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Public Utilities Commission, or any other state agency.
(2) “Reasonable vehicle caps” shall mean that the allowable number of vehicles does not contribute to a significant and measurable increase in traffic congestion as determined by the local jurisdiction’s appropriate transportation agency.

(3)“Substantially located” means in reference to a city or county, or city and county, that the autonomous vehicle service has been granted authority to conduct commercial passenger service or engage in commercial activity using driverless vehicles by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Public Utilities Commission, or any other state agency.

(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an airport operator shall have separate and ultimate authority to regulate autonomous vehicle service access to the airport and set access fees for autonomous vehicles at the airport.
(j) Nothing in this section shall affect the authority of a jurisdiction to regulate autonomous vehicle service to an airport it owns or operates and to set access fees or requirements.

SEC. 3.

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 2 of this act adding Section 53075.1 to the Government Code addresses a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, Section 2 of this act applies to all cities, including charter cities.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that ensuring the safe operation of autonomous vehicles across the state is a matter of statewide concern and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, Section 2 of this act adding Section 53075.1 to the Government Code applies to all cities, including charter cities.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.
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