California Gives Self-Driving Cars Green Light

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that brings widespread automated driving one step closer to realization in the country's most-populous state. Though the bill does not instantly allow driverless vehicles on the roads, it will establish safety and performance regulations for testing and operating autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways.

The bill was signed at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. The company said its computer-controlled vehicles have logged 50,000 miles without human intervention; it reported no accidents while computers were in control. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said at the bill signing that one advantage of autonomous cars is increased safety on the roads.

Google could perhaps use the cars to continuously update its Google Maps database and Street View capabilities.

Nevada and Florida have passed similar bills.

Fool contributor John Divine owns no shares in any of the above companies. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (1)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2012, at 1:39 PM, Melaschasm wrote:

    I would love to own a car which drives itself. This would free up my commute time to do other stuff, such as reading and writing.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2012, at 2:10 PM, TMFDivine wrote:

    @Melaschasm

    I know! And considering how much time most people spend in their cars, we're talking some serious productivity!

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2012, at 2:23 PM, CluckChicken wrote:

    "we're talking some serious productivity!"

    No, bad thought. Sometimes that drive is the only time when I can get away, if people knew I could do work during my drive it wouldn't be long before they would make that the norm.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2012, at 2:38 PM, TMFDivine wrote:

    Touche, CluckChicken, touche.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2012, at 3:48 PM, Darwood11 wrote:

    I think this is great. Now Californian's may be safe from the likes of Lindsay Lohan, those who insist upon texting while driving, drunk drivers, pot heads and even those who prefer to enter the expressway via the "exit ramp."

    Perhaps the day will soon arrive when the courts only allow certain individuals, who have prior arrest and conviction records to sit in the driver's seat only if the machine is in control.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2012, at 4:43 PM, griderX wrote:

    I'd love to see how the card does in NYC ;)

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2012, at 9:27 AM, Johny205 wrote:

    No more DWI's.

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