US: After Audi, Google and Mercedes-Benz ask California for autonomous driving permits image

Yesterday we told you that German luxury automaker Audi was the first company that received California’s new permits for driverless cars. Well, besides the Volkswagen AG subsidiary, permits were released for both Google’s autonomous fleet and Mercedes-Benz.

According to the state’s officials, California now has issued 29 driving permits for cars that can drive themselves, the three companies opting to test their autonomous vehicles on public roads for real-world feedback.

Bernard Soriano of the California Department of Motor Vehicles said that Google was the company holding the vast majority of permits, taking 25 for the testing of its adapted fleet of Lexus SUVs. Additionally Mercedes-Benz and Audi were issued two permits each.

All three companies applied for the permits on Tuesday, the first that required them for the use of autonomous cars on the roads in California – the most populous state in the United States. Soriano said the first company to ask the permits was Audi, followed by Mercedes-Benz and lastly, Google. He added that other carmakers and first-tier suppliers have since requested permits and are in the process of getting them.

Driverless cars have been on the roads of California for several years before the permits, but now state legislators have mandated them compulsory, unifying requirements for the self-driving cars – among them critical being the ability of test drivers to take command of the car whenever needed.

Via Reuters