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California lawmakers want driverless cars legalized within the state

Few will argue with the fact that one of the only ways to eliminate distracted driving is to completely remove the driver from the equation. This is in part what automated, driverless vehicles -- such as the fleet that Google is operating around the country -- promise. The cars are expected to be safer because distracted drivers will no longer be an issue. Google's driverless fleet has racked up 300,000 accident-free miles.
Driverless vehicles can also allow those who were unable to drive themselves to get around without having to seek assistance. Other than making the roads safer, driverless cars also promise to decrease congestion and delays on the nation's roadways by eliminating accidents.
California is making moves to get these driverless vehicles on its state roads with one California legislator introducing a bill seeking to clarify that driverless cars are street legal. Google continues to be one of the major driving forces behind driverless vehicles, although there are other companies working in the industry.
Google believes that it has the computer science knowledge and financial strength to bring driverless cars to reality for Americans. "It's amazing to me that we (even) let humans drive cars," Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said a few years ago.
A lot of the technology needed for driverless vehicles is already available, and some vehicles on the streets today have many of the components needed to make this feat possible. Industry Association Auto Alliance represents Toyota, Ford, GM, BMW, and other major automakers. According to Auto Alliance, its members are individually exploring autonomous vehicle technology, and the association says that great strides have been made in the past decade.
Ford and GM, for instance, are working on autonomous braking technology that allows the car to bring itself to a complete stop when radar and other sensors the vehicle use sense an impending accident.
While some state legislators in California are trying to get the vehicles legalized for road use within the state, other states such as Nevada already allow driverless cars to operate on its roads.

Source: Detroit News

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RE: I drive casue I have to
By amanojaku on 8/23/2012 9:51:08 AM , Rating: 1
You don't like to drive? WTF is wrong with you? The short highways in NYC are a tease. I almost wish I lived in the desert, where the roads are long and you can open the throttle. I almost cried when I heard Route 66 was gone.

RE: I drive casue I have to
By amanojaku on 8/23/2012 9:52:55 AM , Rating: 1
And I get that people hate traffic jams, especially the ones in California. But, driving is still awesome.

RE: I drive casue I have to
By fake01 on 8/23/2012 10:25:14 PM , Rating: 1
While people consider getting even more lazy with driver-less cars I'm still cruising around in my manual enjoying driving for what it brings. Lots of fun, especially the long straights, hills and corners.

I am curious though. Can you still get fined for speeding in one of these things? Or breaking a road rule?

RE: I drive casue I have to
By drycrust3 on 8/23/2012 6:04:38 PM , Rating: 3
I do wonder whether the original posted comment is genuine, but there are lots of people that through no fault of their own cannot drive, or cannot drive safely for any length of time, e.g. they have Parkinson's disease, having a missing limb, have serious eyesight problems, etc.
Living in the desert does have its drawbacks, especially for the handicapped, e.g. no public transport, no public amenities, reliance upon your own resources e.g. ability to fix the plumbing, etc.
For people who are handicapped a self driving car would be a big help, but I think the real benefit will be when large vehicles such as big rigs become self drive. A driver can take breaks and even have a sleep while the rig drives itself.
One of the big problems I have with self driving vehicles is they can put a person out of work, e.g. road cleaners, drivers of big rigs, etc.
The real benefit of this type of technology would be in places where it is very dangerous or impossible to drive without endangering your life, e.g. combat zones, areas with high nuclear radiation, etc.

RE: I drive casue I have to
By Natch on 8/24/2012 7:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
It's actually a good thing that the state of California wants driverless vehicles.

Have you ever seen some of those people drive??

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