Calif. Approves Rules, Promises Self-Driving Cars By 2015

"Look ma, no hands!" The California Department of Motor Vehicles approved a set of rules, readying the dawn of self-driving cars on Golden State roads.

The ground-breaking regulations explain how manufacturers should test, insure, register and report their self-driving cars to the State of California. It will go into effect this September. (Via Forbes)

So unfortunately if you were hoping for a Tom Cruise-style ride from "Minority Report," you’re going to have to wait.  (Via 20th Century Fox / "Minority Report")

The DMV explains these latest rules do not apply to the average driver, just the makers.  However, the department is expected to approve more regulations for consumers by January 1, 2015.  (Via California Department of Motor Vehicles)

Besides the obvious differences, WZTV gives an example of how self-driving cars and their riders are paving the way to new rules on the road.

"California law states that the person behind the wheel is responsible for what happens, but Google says no! Right now they are in talks with the DMV in California to work it out." (Via WZTV)

CNET says until now, Google had been running pilot programs in a “gray area” since there was no precedent set.  

Some might say Google has a pretty good grip on the technology, but what about your wacky neighbor who built his own self-driving hotrod? The DMV explains not everybody can operate legally. (Via Google)

Operators must pass a special driving course. At any time, they must be ready to take over control of the autonomous vehicle. Operators must have an understanding of the technology and they can have no more than one point on their licenses for a traffic code violation.

An analyst on the Business News Network thinks automotive safety will advance with the new rules.

It's very much real. I think that they are seeing this real massive change in the industry for active safety. Things that really change the way you drive.” (Via Business News Network)

California follows Nevada, who previously approved the testing of autonomous vehicles, and even created a special license plate for them. Besides Google, Nissan, Audi and Tesla are a few of the companies also pursuing self-driving cars.

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