The US state of California, America’s most populous and environmental conscious, has market another milestone this week, as it passed legislation to govern driverless car transportation.

The state’s new law that regulates cars that can drive themselves has just entered into effect, creating the first driverless car permits and already one particular automaker has obtained it.

German luxury carmaker Audi has snatched the first permit that allows its self-driving cars to roam free the 405, the Pacific Coast Highway or the Golden Gate Bridge. Just like many other automakers and some tech companies like Google, Audi has clocked tens of thousands of miles of research on autonomous driving in Europe and in US states that allow such tests.

“Audi is a driving force behind the research taking automated driving from science fiction to pre-production readiness,” said Scott Keogh, president, Audi of America. “Obtaining the first permit issued by the State of California shows that we intend to remain the leader in this vital technology frontier.”

Nevada, Florida and Michigan also have similar laws in place already, but California’s adoption is key to Audi, as the state houses the brand’s Electronics Research Lab (ERL). Audi, the engineers at ERL and the Stanford University collaborated to bring the Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak car, which raced the famous 12.42-mile hill-climb in 27 minutes without a human presence inside.



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