Proposed rules would give powerful boost to self-driving industry by permitting cars without a backup driver, steering wheel or foot controls on the road

Cars with no steering wheel, no pedals and nobody at all inside could be driving themselves on California roads by the end of the year, under proposed new state rules that would give a powerful boost to the fast-developing technology.

For the past several years, tech companies and automakers have been testing self-driving cars on the open road in California. But regulators insisted that those vehicles have steering wheels, foot controls and human backup drivers who could take over in an emergency.

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