CA State Sen. Alex Padilla Pushes for Autonomous Vehicle Guidelines
March 5, 2012 10:23 AM
State Sen. wants California to develop automated vehicle rules
California State Sen. Alex Padilla wants to see California follow the path of Nevada and set guidelines that outline when and how
can be tested within the state. Nevada has such guidelines in place, and
Google has been actively testing its autonomous vehicles
within the state. Google isn't alone on the push to autonomous vehicles with several universities and organizations working on the technology.
Padilla recently took a ride in a Google autonomous vehicle and figures that such technology will help reduce the incidence of accidents on highways. He also believes the computer-controlled cars will eventually drive more safely than humans are capable of.
"The vast majority of accidents are due to human error. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities and improve safety on our roads and highways,” Padilla remarked. “California is uniquely positioned to be the leader in the deployment of autonomous technology."
If the proposed legislation is approved, the California Highway Patrol would be responsible for developing standards and performance requirements for autonomous vehicle testing and operation on state highways.
Google's autonomous Prius
Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and Oklahoma are also considering similar legislation.
Drivers [or rather passengers] of these vehicles would be able to read, chat with passengers, or play games without needing to focus on the road. The safety aspects of autonomous vehicles are appealing in that computer-controlled cars would presumably be less accident-prone than human drivers.
Computer-controlled cars could also help avoid traffic congestion the plagues the highways in many cities around the country. In addition, some scientists believe that
won't need stoplights thanks to automated vehicles.
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