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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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