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First Steps Taken for Self-Driving Google Car in California

By Matthew Askari | May 22, 2012
The future of autonomous vehicles may have just gotten a step closer to reality, as the California Senate passed legislation that covers safety and performance standards relating to the cars. The legislation was authored by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), and was passed unanimously 37-0. The bill will now make its way to the state assembly where it is expected to pass. The legislation doesn’t allow for the self-driving cars to be tested on California roads, but rather sets up guidelines the California Highway Patrol can use to evaluate the vehicles. The bill is considered a first step that can open the doors to future testing on California roads, which could pave the way for autonomous driving in California. "Thousands of Californians die in auto accidents each year. The vast majority of these collisions are due to human error. Through the use of computers, sensors and other systems, an autonomous vehicle can analyze the driving environment more quickly and accurately and can operate the vehicle more safely," said Sen. Padilla. In recent weeks several other states have considered similar legislation, including Arizona, Hawaii, Florida and Oklahoma. Nevada has already passed a bill to allow testing of autonomous vehicles. While the Google self-driving technology still makes many people uneasy, Padilla said "developing and deploying autonomous vehicles will not only save lives, it will create jobs." Source: Wired
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