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California Senate Bill 1298 passed in a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 37-0 in the State Senate

The state of California passed a bill today that will allow for the preparation of standards for the use of autonomous vehicles.

California Senate Bill 1298 passed in a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 37-0 in the State Senate today. The bill, which was created by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), will set the stage for a set of performance and safety standards for the use of autonomous vehicles in the state.

These standards would be used by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to determine how autonomous vehicles would operate on California roads and highways. Autonomous vehicles will have to meet federal and state safety standards, and a licensed driver will have to be in the car at all times. Also, CHP and the Department of Motor Vehicles will offer recommendations for the use of these vehicles.

Google's autonomous Toyota Prius [Source: Motor Authority]

"Thousands of Californians tragically die in auto accidents each year," said Padilla. "The vast majority of these collisions are due to human error. Through the use of computers, sensors and other systems, an autonomous vehicle can analyze the driving environment more quickly and accurately and can operate the vehicle more safely."

Computer-controlled cars will not only help drivers avoid accidents, but will also prevent traffic congestion on highways in many cities. However, automaker Honda Motor Co. recently collaborated with the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo to create a driving assistant that tracks the driving behavior of the vehicle and calculates whether this pace could cause a traffic jam.

Other U.S. states, including Arizona, Florida, Hawaii and Oklahoma, are considering the testing of autonomous vehicles as well.

Source: The State of California

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By drycrust3 on 5/22/2012 2:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
After getting into an at-fault accident myself ...I don't think I'd ever fully, 100% trust myself as being able to drive me or my loved ones with a negligible risk of accident

I think your attitude is admirable. I would even go so far as to say you are the sort of person who should be driving.
Years ago, when I first attended a defensive driving course, we were told about taxi drivers who had driven for 20 years without an accident. I was incredulous, believing it wasn't possible. Now, as a professional driver, I think it is possible.
Notice that? I think it is possible for people to drive for 20 years and not have an accident, and the excellent record of autonomous cars shows it really is possible.
Is there any secret recipe in their driving? I think they are very strict in monitoring their own performance, especially things like maintaining a safe following distance and sticking to the speed limits. Maybe someone can expand on what performance parameters the autonomous vehicles use.
The only bad thing is that it will eventually take a huge chunk out of unskilled labor demand

This isn't a silly comment. The fact is we could end up with entire cities being run and maintained without a single person in sight, which sort of begs the question of "Why bother?".
As much as I don't like the idea of "government created" jobs, the fact is "government created" jobs are better than putting people on some sort of welfare and then leaving them idle. As my father says, "The Devil finds work for idle hands".

By SlyNine on 5/22/2012 6:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
The secret to autonomous cars excellent record, Controlled risk. Wait until these systems are fully deployed, You'll see a lot of accidents before this system is better then a good driver.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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