Legislators in California have started the process of legalizing self-driving cars on state roads with a bill that would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to set safety and performance guidelines for them. This comes after Nevada lawmakers approved self-driving cars on its streets, but California’s larger market and influence could pave the way for setting the standards globally.
The State Bill 1298 was unanimously passed by the state senate this week and should be on the governor’s desk soon. The bill sets out basic requirements for the California DMV and Highway Patrol to work with, such as ensuring that tests and operation of driver-less cars are conducted safely, as well as requiring that “future testing and operation of autonomous vehicles in the state” should comply with requirements that authorities will set.
While the regulations and standards the DMV will develop are likely to be the subject of scrutiny and debate, the bill itself will definitely be signed by State Governor Jerry Brown.
Autonomous cars have been making its rounds within the state, mostly on the San Francisco Bay Area where Google–one of the pioneering companies in developing such vehicles–is based.