California Gives Self-Driving Cars Green Light

Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation at Google HQ in Mountain View.

John Divine
John Divine
Sep 26, 2012 at 12:00AM
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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.