California Approves Driverless Cars – Car Pro News

California Gov. Jerry Brown rode to Google headquarters in Silicon Valley in a self-driven Toyota Prius before signing legislation. Google is leading the charge to develop the promising technology.
“Today we’re looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow’s reality, the self-driving car,” Brown said.
Google has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the regulations. The company’s fleet of a dozen computer-controlled vehicles, mostly Priuses equipped with self-driving technology, have logged more than 300,000 miles of self-driving without an accident, according to Google.
“I think the self-driving car can really dramatically improve the quality of life for everyone,” Google co-founder Sergei Brin said.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers expressed concern that California is moving too quickly to embrace self-driving cars.
“Currently, autos are designed to be operated by people who carry the responsibility to maintain control and safely operate the vehicle,” the trade group said in a statement. “Unfortunately this legislation lacks any provision protecting an automaker whose car is converted to an autonomous operation vehicle without the consent or even knowledge of that auto manufacturer.”
Autonomous cars, which could be sold commercially within the next decade, use computers, sensors and other technology to operate independently, but a human driver can override the autopilot function and take control of the vehicle at any time.
With smartphone-wielding drivers more distracted than ever, backers say robotic vehicles have the potential to make roads significantly safer, noting that nearly all car accidents are a result of human error.

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