Self-driving cars might seem like a thing of the future, but they have actually become a reality. Unfortunately, self-driving cars are not even close to becoming widely available, despite all efforts by the company Google. The company made mention of self-driving vehicles in 2014 and they wanted to issue them to the public in 2015. Now the company is concerned by the delay, which comes from the Department of Motor Vehicles. They were supposed to write a precedent-setting rule by last January, however, they have struggled all year long to implement a rule for self-driving cars.
A look at Google’s self-driving car
Google created a prototype of a self-driving car, which is a bubble-shaped, two-seater. The company has only been able to test the vehicles in limited locations. Top speed for the self-driving vehicle is only 25 mph, and it cannot withstand snow or fog. California’s DMV has given ten different companies permission to test Google’s 73 cars. In order to be tested, a trained test driver must sit behind the wheel, however Google has an ultimate goal of removing the wheel and pedals for the general public. In doing this, it would actually be safer to the consumer because it takes all control away from the person, and not expect them to have to snap to attention in the case of an emergency. Chris Urmson is the project leader behind the self-driving car. He doesn’t want to see any further delays in releasing the car to the public, especially because his son would not need a driver’s license to operate a self-driving vehicle. Google states that the car would drive itself, even without anyone in the vehicle.
California DMV taking their time with safety issues
It has been about a year of discussion regarding the legal use of self-driving vehicles. The DMV is really looking to come up with a set of clear, objective safety standards for these types of cars. They need help from Google and other traditional automakers in order to set this objective. There are no current federal regulations on self-driving cars, and California wants to do everything they can to ensure safety. Officials have gained information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their position on self-driving vehicles, is that states should only authorize the use of self-driving vehicles with a licensed driver. The pressure is really on for California to develop new regulations for self-driving vehicles, and Google is hoping there will be some kind of progress by year’s end.
Self-driving Google cars, moving forward
Regulators have stated that they don’t want them blame placed on them for stalling the arrival of the infamous self-driving vehicle. These cars can see farther, react faster, and will not text, speed, or fall asleep at the “wheel”. You can get more information about Google’s self-driving car by visiting their website. They have posted videos of the self-driving car in action. We will have to wait and see if 2016 will become the year that California comes to a regulation on self-driving cars.