California senator announces autonomous car legislation

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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