Thursday, May 24, 2012

California, Second State to Allow Google Self Driving Car in its Roadways

Last Monday, the California State Senate finally approved the bill allowing Google self-driving cars to be tested on the state’s roadways. Now, the bill is set to go before the assembly next month.

The SB1298 was sponsored by State Senator Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, and its approval came to light after the state of Nevada allowed the autonomous vehicles to be tested and operated on its roadways.

The bill would allow Google self-driving cars to be tested and operated on California roadways as well. In fact, California is only the second state to give Google self-driving cars a go signal after the search engine giant received a patent for driverless cars last year.

The bill passed unanimously, probably because some of the state senators have already test drove one of Google’s prototype cars.

Below are some quoted information regarding the said bill:

Google Self Driving Car

•    It sets up safety and performance standards for the safe operation of self-driving vehicles on California’s public roads.

•    It allows for the operation of self-driving vehicles on California’s public roads by a licensed driver.

•    It requires that a self-driving vehicle meets all applicable safety standards and performance requirements of both state and federal laws.

•    It 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 roadways.

It was actually last year when the said law was approved in Nevada and now after California, Arizona, Hawaii, Florida and Oklahoma are also considering self-driving car legislation.

Although the idea of a computer controlled car may make some people uncomfortable, the technology is bound to stay. Most probably, Google will become the company that manufactures such software that safely sends you home.

Senator Padilla said that human errors are the most common cause of car accidents on roadways. Therefore, if such self-driving vehicles can reduce the number of roadway injuries and traffic fatalities on California roadways, such decision is a matter of safety.

A Los Angeles car accident attorney is particularly pleased with Google’s concept vehicle. So much to consider that the said self-driving car is Google’s first innovation after the huge search engine came out of its nutshell. Google only proves that the company has a lot more to offer to people than just online browsing.

  • Several lines from this blog post were quoted from an article written and posted online by Jerry Hirsch of the LA Times as a readers’ ready reference.