Audi, Mercedes, Google get first driverless car permits in Calif.
Audi became the first company to receive Californiaês new driverless car permit, followed by Mercedes-Benz and Google. Google has already logged more than 700,000 miles with autonomous test Prius and Lexus vehicles on California roads and highways. The permits give the state more power to regulate the companies.
Audi is also testing autonomous cars in Nevada and Florida. It was the first to apply for a California permit. BMW, Ford and GM have been developing autonomous vehicles for several years.
Driverless vehicles will revolutionize transportation, reduce traffic accidents and save lives, said state senator Alex Padilla, an MIT engineering graduate who introduced the bill that created the permit. Establishing safety standards for these vehicles is an essential step in that process.
Under the state law, each company that receives a permit must have $5 million worth of property and personal injury insurance; hire test drivers with excellent driving records who can take over in an emergency. The companies must also report all accidents and incidents where drivers had to take control.Download Bulletin PDF