Tuesday, September 25th, Gov. Jerry Brown approved a law allowing self-driving cars onto California’s public roads.
Brown, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and State Sen. Alex Padilla were taken to the signing ceremony at Google’s headquarters by a Prius that steered itself. Although Chris Urmson was in the driver’s seat, it was the car that did all the driving.
“We’re looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow’s reality,” Brown said just before signing the bill.
In 2010 Google has begun working on the self-driving technology and since then it has tested a fleet of self-driving vehicles on the California roads. Google’s cars are provided with video cameras, lasers, radar sensors and a database which gathers information from manually driven cars to improve navigation.
The new law, which will go into effect in 2013, sets performance and safety regulations for testing driverless cars, with the condition that an operator is ready to take control when necessary. Officials are aware of the fact that there are still years ahead until a fully self-driving autonomous vehicle will be seen on the roads.
Bin said that the self driving car is of utmost importance for the quality of life as the cars can be used by the blinds, the persons who drank too much or persons that have to commute, therefore avoiding accidents and cutting congestion.