California Just Legalized Self-Driving Cars

Photo: Google

Google has been making steady progress toward getting its self-driving car on the road. Its fleet has logged 300,000 miles and offers the autonomous rides to commuting employees.This afternoon, it took a big step forward with the help of the government of California, in the form of SB 1298. The newly passed law allows driverless cars to be operated on public roads.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-L.A.), was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown at the Googleplex.

Brown took a ride in one of Google’s autonomous cars before signing the bill. He touted the potential of the technology for “turning science fiction into tomorrow’s reality.”

The new law directs the Department of Motor Vehicles to draft regulations that will determine how the cars and technology are licensed, tested, and operated by 2015 at the latest. A licensed driver is still required to sit behind the wheel, Wired reported.

We have our doubts that the self-driving car is a good idea, but there is no question the technology is moving ahead. Autonomous cars were legalized in Nevada last February, and Google is not likely to stop with California.

Now see the 20 most miserable states for driving >

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