California Approves Legislation for Self-Driving Automated Vehicles, Florida Follows Suit - The UpStream

California Approves Legislation for Self-Driving Automated Vehicles, Florida Follows Suit

posted Friday May 25, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

California Approves Legislation for Self-Driving Automated Vehicles, Florida Follows Suit

Ever since seeing the GM En-V concept car at CES last year, we were wondering when we would finally see automated cars driving across the nation. We knew Google was testing out some of their own vehicles in Nevada and now we've learned the possibility of automated driving is going to happen sooner than we previously thought.

The crazy lovely state of California is known to do some strange, confusing and downright unconstitutional things, so this is pretty close to their wheelhouse. California has passed a bill that sets the guidelines and rules for automated vehicles that are driven and tested on the hill-laden roadways of the great state. Florida has also joined the ranks of states who want to see this technology developed even further.

The bill easily passed without hesitation and now heads to the California State Assembly. We have the details after the break.

Here is what the bill does:

- Sets up safety and performance standards for the safe operation of autonomous vehicles on California's public roads.

- Allows for the operation of autonomous vehicles on California's public roads by a licensed driver.

- Requires that an autonomous vehicle meets all applicable safety standards and performance requirements in state and federal law.

- Allows the Highway Patrol, in consultation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, to recommend to the legislature additional requirements for the safe operation of such vehicles on California's roads.

If passed by the CSA, this will mark the second piece of legislation that the state has set forth that directly has to do with self-driving vehicles. Nevada passed a law that was very similar last year and now states like Hawaii, Oklahoma and Arizona are looking to start their own legislation for automated driving as well. CA State Senator Alex Padilla said that would definitely improve the safety on California's traffic-filled road system. I thought the 16 lane highways and interchanges were good enough, but what do I know?

Human error is the cause of almost every accident on the road today. If autonomous technology can reduce the number of accidents, then we also reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on California roads.

I'm excited to see what companies like Google and GM have in store for us in the upcoming years. GM has already taken what it's learned from the En-V concept cars and has created Super Cruise, a self-driving technology that we should see introduced into Cadillac and other luxury vehicles by the middle of this decade.

What do you think? Will this just allow more people to eat food, text and put makeup on in the car? Do you think it will have a major impact on reducing accidents? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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