New Bill Makes Testing of Self-Driving Cars Legal in California
September 27, 2012 12:12 PM
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The new bill notes that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has until January 1, 2015 to adopt the new regulations
We may not have flying cars yet, but the state of California is getting a taste of the future with a newly-signed bill for
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a bill to create safety standards for autonomous vehicles earlier this week after taking one for a test drive himself. The bill is Senate Bill 1298 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), which states that self-driving cars can be used on public roads for testing purposes only as long as there is a licensed operator in the driver's seat to take over if needed.
"Autonomous vehicles are another example of how California's technological leadership is turning today's science fiction into tomorrow's reality," said Governor Brown. "This law will allow California's pioneering engineers to safely test and implement this amazing new technology."
Self-driving cars are being considered in an effort to cut highway fatalities, highway congestion and pollution. It also offers a new form of transportation for those with disabilities.
Governor Brown signed the bill at the Googleplex alongside Google executives. The tech giant recently announced that its self-driving cars had
logged 300,000 accident-free miles
during tests. Google plans to be at the forefront of the cutting-edge technology.
The new bill notes that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has until January 1, 2015 to adopt the new regulations.
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9/27/2012 1:11:30 PM
Why wait? Cars already have anti-lock breaks and airbags. Many also have electronic stability control, so you don't even have to worry about them rolling when you run them off the road.
9/28/2012 11:19:48 AM
How on earth would "electronic stability control" prevent a car from rolling over if you drive it off the road?
Y'cannae change the laws o' physics, Capt'n!
9/28/2012 4:20:42 PM
When recently shopping around for a new car I looked at the 2013 Ford Fusion in detail. It already has all the fixin's to become a robotic car:
A 'Pacing' cruise control that will slow the car down if it senses a care up front slowing down or stopping.
Lane departure correction -- will steer you back into your lane if you drift out. Just take your hands off the wheel and let it do the steering for you. You might weave back & forth in your lane like a drunk, but you won't leave it. An the car will make a godawful racket the whole way.
With the two above, you could pretty much doze off behind the wheel and the car will keep on driving (if you can sleep thru the racket of the car trying to wake you up), not leave the lane and not hit the guy who stops in front of you.
Throw in 'semi-automatic' parallel parking handles all the steering for you (you still have to shift push the brake and gas) and you have a car that will almost drive itself today. The only thing really missing here is a linkage between the GPS and the steering/brake/accelerator.
While a technogeek's wet dream, I wouldn't touch it. This thing is 95% computer controlled. I have worked in the software business for 35 years and believe me, I have seen what happens with version 1.0 (or any other 'point zero' version) of software.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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