California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB1298 on Tuesday, which allows autonomous vehicles to be legal, making California the third state to affirm driverless cars, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Here are the top ten facts you need to know about the robotic cars.
1. The Bill Wasn't Entirely Necessary
California law doesn't exactly say that a car has to have a driver. I mean, early 20th century auto lawmakers weren't counting on autonomous vehicles ever existing in the future.
3. The Bill Requires the DMV to Adopt Regulations Covering Driverless Vehicles
The new law immediately allows testing of the autonomous vehicles on the roadways, but first requires the Department of Motor Vehicle to establish and enforce safety regulations for their manufacture.
4. Google Makes Them
5. Google has been Testing The Self-Driving Vehicles on the Road Since 2010
Google has been testing their cars on the road since 2010. The driverless cars rely on video cameras, radar sensors, lasers and a database of information collected from manually driven cars to aid getting around safely on the roads. Though, it will likely takes years until Google's vehicles actually get on the road by consumers.
6. With Autonomous Cars, Google Promises Fewer Road Deaths, Faster Travel, and Cheaper Gas
These are the many pros of autonomous cars. Since human error makes up most of car accidents, technology can resolve the issue. Put enough of them on the road and the cars can talk to each other, keeping a safe distance between each other and cutting down on traffic jams.
7. One of Google's Cars Took a Blind Man to Taco Bell and Back
Back in March, Google released a video of one of their cars taking a blind man for a spin in the self-driving car to show the benefits of the technology. The car took the man on his daily errands to places such as the dry cleaners, the pharmacy to pick up his prescriptions and even Taco Bell for lunch. Cool, right?
8. Every Car Comes Equipped with an Emergency Back-Up Human
Don't worry, these cars won't be out on the road alone. It's required for a human to actually be in the car just in case of an emergency.
9. The Autonomous Car has Already Been in an Accident
Google's car has already been in an accident, reports NBC News, but it turns out the crash was caused by the human in the car. The car was seen in a minor fender bender, but it wasn't in auto-mode at the time of the accident.
10. Human Error Occurs in 80% of Motor Vehicle Accidents
In 2006, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that 80 percent of motor vehicle accidents occur because of human error. If the human is taken out of the equation, imagine how many fewer accidents on the road there will be. Computers won't get tired or distracted, they won't speed, they won't run red lights, or tailgate. Yeah, I think I can get used to a computer driving for me. While there are still kinks to be worked out in the technology, it is predicted that the autonomous vehicle will be the car of the future.