Following in the footsteps of its neighbors to the east, California could be the next state to adopt legislation that would allow autonomous cars to test on its roads.

California Sen. Alex Padilla was chauffeured to the capital in one of Google's self-driving Toyota Prius hybrids yesterday to announce the legislation, with Padilla citing the state's tech-centric, pioneering roots and the chance to be a leader in the field of autonomous vehicles.

Similar to the legislation that recently passed in Nevada that set requirements for autonomous vehicle testing, the Golden State's version of the law – SB 1298 – is a series of safety and performance standards that would be enforced by the California Highway Patrol to ensure testing goes smoothly.

With Volkswagen's Electronics Research Lab, BMW's tech center and several other automaker inhabiting the Bay Area – not to mention Google's pioneering efforts in the field – California is uniquely positioned to take autonomous vehicles to the next level. That is, assuming, it gets past the legislature and the governor's desk.


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  • 53 Comments
      mycommentemail
      • 2 Years Ago
      I for one can't wait for automated cars. I would like to use them like an instant, always available taxi service and then spend my precious automotive dollars (and single parking space) on a car that is less practical and more fun to drive (1964 Alfa GT). That way, during the week, I get chauffeured to wherever I want to go, don't have to worry about my car getting dinged up in traffic, don't have to worry about stop and go traffic, don't have to worry about where to park, don't have to worry about whether my meter is running out, don't have to worry about maintenance, don't have to worry about getting lost, and so on. And these benefits go for everyone regardless of their ability to drive. On the weekends I will take my little gem out for a spin and drive for the pure pleasure of it.
      dave and mary
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cars of the future will have a person sitting in the driver's seat, and a dog sitting in the passenger seat. The man is there to manage systems; and the dog is there to bite him if he touches anything.
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      Forget about commute. Imagine autonomous commercial trucks. No need for night stops, no need to pay salary. Whole job sector will disappear.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      BrainDead184
      • 2 Years Ago
      I know that many car enthusiasts are going to be hesitant to the automated-driving technology. Let's face the facts--this stuff isn't for you. We've all been stuck behind grandma on the freeway before. What if she drove the proper speed? Some people aren't good at driving. These cars will be better drivers than you. Can you look 360 degrees around all at the same time? This thing never gets fatigued or distracted. It doesn't put on makeup or try to eat pizza while in motion. Not everyone enjoys driving, and I am sure that even you dislike driving in traffic. This technology has the potential to save lives, money, and time. 9/10 accidents involve human error. The potential to prevent stop & go traffic jams by having networked cars is fantastic. Only luddites dislike this technology.
        rex
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BrainDead184
        Typical I know better than you post. If one disagrees with the self seen mental giant you are a luddite. Well at least he did not use redneck or hick or right wing etc... To each his own bro...you were doing good tell the close...
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BrainDead184
        Sure, its great technology until it becomes forced upon us, and were no longer allowed to drive our own cars because humans are "dangerous and unpredictable". Than skynet happens, the matrix, etc...
          BrainDead184
          • 2 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          I'm inclined to agree with you. Until there is a risk of it becoming mandatory any fear associated with the technology is unfounded.
          evannever
          • 2 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          @BrainDead184 Your very logic MANDATES that this will become the law of the land. Far more people dislike driving than people that do. THEY will not allow their law makers to permit human driven cars (with all their imperfect operators) to be driven on their safe autonomous car roadways. While that outcome may seem scary enough on an enthusiast's site, we will just be one step closer to the ...final solution... SkyNet, thy name is Google.
        Just Stuff
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BrainDead184
        Shows how much you know. Nobody that works in the IT field would trust their life to something like this. What would you do if you were being propelled 60mpg and your car got a BSOD?
          BrainDead184
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Just Stuff
          You don't think they test for stuff like this? Google have full time staff dedicated to developing this technology. They have already considered the problem.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BrainDead184
        Pretty far from a luddite, i'm a full time programmer and i know that a program is only as good as the people behind it. I don't trust this at all. Maybe it works fairly well until the sensors start going wacky / miscalibrated 5-10 years down the road. Then like a smog check, you get to pay for a sensor calibration. Like the dozens of emissions control parts on every car, you'll get to pay to replace and/or calibrate sensors over time. Also, it takes a massive amount of computing horsepower to recognize objects, fast moving ones are the most difficult to identify. Those instances are the most dangerous. Call me crazy but i like driving my car.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BrainDead184
        [blocked]
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 2 Years Ago
      I saw one of these, I tried to flip the computer out via racing pass. It sort of did an avoidance maneuver moving 3 inches to the left int he lane, which I did not expect, but happily let me push the edge a little closer once I knew what it was going to do there was likely less than six inches between our bumpers on the pass. The alarms on the inside must have been going off because the people on the inside were a little freaked out. I wholeheartedly recommend trying it yourself. I hope to see that car again because I want to see what happens when I get less than six inches from the bumper with more speed.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        Douche
          rlog100
          • 2 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          Although that assessment may be true, you think people will stop f***ing with other people with their cars? I'd rather this get vetted now instead of when there's thousands of people in these.
          evannever
          • 2 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          @ rlog100 I agree completely. Think how many products have been made safer by the sacrifice of those with more balls than brains.
        Justin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        "I want to see what happens when I get less than six inches from the bumper with more speed." You start paying their insurance.
        mycommentemail
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        liar
        GamaGoat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        Nice. Can't wait to see one and try to freak it out.
      RJC
      • 2 Years Ago
      No. Saw it on iRobot and the Discovery Channel, and that movie with Stallone and Bullock. Not interested.
      Love Great Danes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't most Toyota's accelerate autonomously? They have the technology already
        mt1975
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Love Great Danes
        Well I know General Motors, Fords and Chryslers already stop autonomously, and require a mechanic to restart a great many times during their life.
          Love Great Danes
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mt1975
          What is Fords and Chryslers? I thought the companies were Ford and Chrysler. Now go do your homework
      Tiberius1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      No..No..No... go back the the movie "Westworld" look how that worked out. Autonomous, my a$$...take a good look at what hackers do on a daily basis. Maybe we can put all these pro-"I don't want to do the driving" folks on a track in their precious self driving cars and let hackers loose on them. Or just let them ride public transportation.
        TelegramSam
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tiberius1701
        Who are these hackers that are going to attack normal citizens? Most people who have the knowledge to be real hackers, have college degrees and good paying jobs, and are not looking to cause chaos for normal people, unless there is profit-motive. Simply making someone's car malfunction, for laughs would probably not suffice.
          tnsubie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TelegramSam
          Think cyberwarfare. But why in the world would these vehicles need to be networked? That seems like an unnecessary complication of the system. Each vehicle would behave within certain parameters and gather all of its data physically, not through network integration. That is the only way it could work, what with millions of not autonomous vehicles on the road.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TelegramSam
          Actually, viruses, especially botnets, are a new criminal enterprise that's bringing in billions. This is not the 1990's. You can make insane money selling botnet CPU/bandwidth to spammers, hackers, foreign governments etc.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tiberius1701
        Telegram; you've got it all wrong. Hackers are mainly self taught. When there is not profit motive, there is lulz ;].. automobiles having a huge attack vector are going to be a huge target. Send the right data to any of those dozens of sensors that will be in these cars and you will have a jolly good time..
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't wait to be rolled over by a computer driven car when i'm riding my bike, because it didn't see me quickly enough.
        marian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Since they would track you with radar, you would be seen even in the dead of night by this car.
      fitzbeerman
      • 2 Years Ago
      They let illegals drive there so why not a car.
      kmcc895370
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've had a GPS unit give me erroneous directions on occasion. I can just imagine what will happen when computer driven vehicles malfunction. We'll need special Car Killer Police like the ones in the old Tom Sellack movie Runaway.
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