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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 danjw1 on 8/23/2012 12:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
I hate driving too, but it is because of all the idiots on the road that don't know how to drive. And, yes, I even live in California. We need to have a higher standard to get a drivers license or automated vehicles. One way or the other, we need to take the person who thinks THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON ON THE ROAD, out of the equation. You know them, they weave between lanes, never signals, cuts everyone else off, talking on the phone the whole time and leans on his horn all the time. So either ban these people from the roads or take them out of the equation.

I recently read an article that said that laws that stopped people from using phones while driving were not having an effect on the accident rate. The postulated reason was that the people that do that are bad drivers in the first place. I see people driving recklessly pretty much every day, and yet those people still have licenses. The only way to get them from killing other people, is to take the control away from them.

RE: I drive casue I have to
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 12:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
You know what I find interesting on the Internet? When people talk about driving, it's always about how EVERYONE else is a bad driver. Statistically speaking, it almost seems impossible that all of these posters are in-fact "better" drivers than everyone else. Yet it's always everyone else that's a bad driver, everyone else should be banned, everyone else needs better tests etc etc.

Doesn't that seem a little suspicious to you? Seems like a lot of confirmation bias and dishonesty. People generally view themselves as far better people than they actually are.

RE: I drive casue I have to
By danjw1 on 8/23/2012 12:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
I would have no problem with more rigorous drivers tests. More people die each year in car accidents then do in aircraft accidents, but it is much harder to get a pilots license. Pilots are required to pass regular medical examinations and show recurrence training or under go a new practical exam. But no one would want to put up with that. So lets take the driver out of the drive. Roads are intended for transportation, not recreation. If you want to drive for fun, go to a track.

RE: I drive casue I have to
By danjw1 on 8/23/2012 12:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
One more thing, most planes have an autopilot. :-)

RE: I drive casue I have to
By tng on 8/23/2012 1:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
One more thing, most planes have an autopilot.
Sorry, but you are wrong. The large majority of planes in the world are small private planes that do not have autopilot capability, nor do most need them since pilot training is much more rigorous than learning to drive.

Sometimes I think that we need a much tougher standard for driving a regular car and less focus on abdication of the personal responsibility with an automated car.

RE: I drive casue I have to
By nafhan on 8/23/2012 2:29:30 PM , Rating: 2
Where I'm from the driving test mostly consists of recognizing road signs. I think more stringent driving standards would be great!

My personal pet peeve: old people driving tractor trailer sized motorhomes. No special license requirements for them...

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