California is following in Nevada’s footsteps and should soon finalize passing a bill that will make it the second state in the U.S. to allow driverless cars on state roads. The bill has already passed through the senate with a unanimous vote, and it is expected that Governor Jerry Brown will sign it into law.
Under this law, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will be required to create a new set of licensing procedures and standards for self-operating vehicles. As stated in the bill, it would “permit autonomous vehicles to be operated or tested on the public roads in this state pending the adoption of safety standards and performance requirements that would be adopted under this bill.”
There are no details just yet on what the exact laws will be like, but it’s unlikely that they will be much different than those in Nevada. One of the most important laws expected to be established is that drivers must still be behind the steering wheel at all times. Obviously you’re also going to have to know how to operate the vehicle if you’re the one behind the wheel, so you can’t add “go to the store for groceries and to the bank” to the list of chores for your kids not old enough to have a license.
Google’s self-driving cars have already clocked 300,000 miles of testing without a single accident under computer control. However, according to company spokesman Chris Urmson, California terrain will require additional forms of testing for tricky situations such as construction signals and snow-covered roadways.
How do you feel about driving on the same road as an autonomous vehicle, or having one drive you?
Image: Goggle self-driving car