A Google self-driven car. (Photo : REUTERS/Google)
Apple may have the spotlight, but Google seems to be doing just fine on its own. Not only did it recently announce underwater viewing is possible through Google Maps (just to show how bad Apple Maps is, perhaps), but California just announced that it has legalized Google's driverless cars.
California will become the third state to legalize the use of the driver-free cars on its roads. Governor Jerry Brown signed in legislation Senate Bill 1298 that will mandate specific safety regulations in 2015 for the new driverless cars. One of them will include having a driver behind the wheel just in case anything goes wrong.
The bill was signed into effect at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Senate sponsor Alex Padilla also attended the ceremony.
"Human error causes most traffic accidents and autonomous technology can reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on California's roads," said Padilla.
"I expect that self-driving cars are going to be far safer than human driven cars," said Google's Sergey Brin who was also present.
Senate Bill 1298 reads:
"Existing law requires the Department of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to adopt rules and regulations that are designed to promote the safe operation of specific vehicles, including, among other things, school buses and commercial motor vehicles. This bill would require the department to adopt safety standards and performance requirements to ensure the safe operation and testing of "autonomous vehicles," as defined, on the public roads in this state. The bill would permit autonomous vehicles to be operated or tested on the public roads in this state pending the adoption of safety standards and performance requirements that would be adopted under this bill."
If you're a California driver, the next car you may be honking at or waving your fist might just be that - a car; no reason to get angry anymore if Google has its way, let the car do the talking and driving.