California Governor Jerry Brown just signed a new bill that allows autonomous cars on the state’s roads. Bill SB1298 was originally drafted by Democrat Senator Alex Padilla to help establish safety standards and rules for the operation of autonomous vehicles in California. “Today we’re looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow’s reality—the self-driving car,” Brown stated.
Autonomous cars use a combination of computers, sensors and lasers to operate without the guidance of a driver. Google with its fleet of autonomous Toyota Prius hybrids is seen as one of the largest benefactors of yesterday’s bill. Governor Brown signed the bill at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California with Google co-founder Sergey Brin present. “The self-driving car can really dramatically improve the quality of life,” said Brin.
The new California bill follows Google’s successful attempt to make the self-driving cars legal in Nevada. According to Google its fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids has logged over 300,000 miles without an accident.
The new law will not go into effect until next year, but it will be a few years before an autonomous car hits the road. Google doesn’t have any plans to build any cars on its own, but instead plans to partnership with the automotive industry.