Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

California gives the go-ahead for driverless cars on public roads

By

September 26, 2012

Google co-founder Sergey Brin gave a summary of the potential benefits of autonomous vehic...

Google co-founder Sergey Brin gave a summary of the potential benefits of autonomous vehicles as California Gov. Brown signed bill SB1298 into law

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will allow Google (and other companies) to test autonomous vehicles on state-owned roads. The bill – which is similar to those already enacted in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and Oklahoma – allows the state to oversee safety and performance standards.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are around 30,000 to 37,000 fatal car accidents every year. The technology being implemented in autonomous vehicles could reduce that number dramatically, particularly in the case of human error.

That Gov. Brown signed the papers at Google's Mountain View headquarters should come as no surprise. The company has been developing the technology for autonomous vehicles for the past few years with the help of Sebastian Thrun. He's a research professor at Stanford and considered one of the world leaders in the field (his team won the DARPA Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles back in 2006).

As a Google fellow, Thrun founded Google X (home to both the Google Car and Google Glass projects), and the company's co-founder Sergey Brin made a public show of support for the latter during his appearance. He gives an excellent overview of the many potential benefits of autonomous vehicles in Google's official video of the event below.

Source: Google via Engadget

About the Author
Jason Falconer Jason is a freelance writer based in central Canada with a background in computer graphics. He has written about hundreds of humanoid robots on his website Plastic Pals and is an avid gamer with an unsightly collection of retro consoles, cartridges, and controllers.   All articles by Jason Falconer
4 Comments

Here they come at last. What car makers should have been concentrating on decades ago.

nutcase
26th September, 2012 @ 07:19 pm PDT

You would have needed a very large truck to move around the tonnes of computer equipment needed even just 10 years ago, let alone decades.

I am praying that these cars will be cheap enough for me to buy one in 20 or 30 years time, when I get too old to drive.

Bob64
27th September, 2012 @ 08:53 pm PDT

Driverless cars are definitely the future. Such a car is ideal as a taxi you can hail whenever wherever. No need to buy one. Networking and smart algorithms have the potential to solve all traffic problems.

Mathias Bogaert
14th October, 2012 @ 07:13 am PDT

Will they get 100 mpg?

Mark A
5th January, 2013 @ 08:13 am PST
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