Self-Driving cars might be hitting Pacific Coast Highway soon. According to the Los Angeles Times, a bill to allow self-driving cars on California’s roads passed the state Senate.
The bill, SB1298, sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), established the guidelines for “autonomous vehicles” to be tested and operated in California.
Organizations such as Google and even Cadillac in an indirect way have been working to develop self-driving vehicles. The vehicles use radar, video cameras, and lasers to navigate roads and safely get from Point A to Point B without any human assistance. Padilla discussed the motivation behind pushing the bill:
“Human error is the cause of almost every accident on the road today. If autonomous technology can reduce the number of accidents, then we also reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on California’s roads,” Padilla said. “For me this is a matter of safety.”
The bill highlights are as follows: (Source: LA Times)
- Sets up safety and performance standards for the safe operation of autonomous vehicles on California’s public roads.
- Allows for the operation of autonomous vehicles on California’s public roads by a licensed driver.
- Requires that an autonomous vehicle meets all applicable safety standards and performance requirements in state and federal law.
Allows the Highway Patrol, in consultation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, to recommend to the Legislature additional requirements for the safe operation of such vehicles on California’s roads.
Google’s goal is to have the car completely drive by itself. Currently, self-driving cars must legally have a person at the wheel to assume control if anything goes wrong. Advocates are hoping it will improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles and enable cars to communicate with each other and ease traffic flow.
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