Well not yet, but self-driving cars did get one step closer to being available in the future after California issued its first 29 permits this week. The permits were issued to three different companies to test self-driving cars on public roads, according to Fox Business. We have seen the driverless Prius cars on TV and in movies and wondered whether or not it could be a possibility for these cars to be on the road. Now that testing on public roads has begun, you might be seeing these on the roads sooner than you think.
Google, Mercedes, and Audi were the first to get permits to test on California public roads and Google got permits for 25 adapted Toyota Motor Corp Lexus SUVs, two permits went to Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG’s Audi, said the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Autonomous cars have been testing in California for quite some time now, but the state is now stepping in and making permits a requirement for these cars to run on public roads. Another requirement is that the test driver must have the ability to take control of the vehicle at any time while on a public road.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, says the technology needed to create the autonomous car will be ready in only five to six years. Mr. Musk expects autonomous driving to be safer for drivers and pedestrians by a factor of 10. While these cars might be ready for driving in 6 years, the public may not. It could take several more years to require the proper permits and sort out the regulations before you can drive these cars down the street. Would you feel comfortable behind the wheel of a car driven by a computer? This question depends on the driver, but Google’s self driving cars have already logged over 700,000 accident-free miles without human intervention.
The director of the California DMV said in a statement, “Autonomous vehicles are the future of transportation, the potential safety and mobility benefits are enormous and testing on public roads is one step to developing this technology.” So, we aren’t going to see these vehicles on the road tomorrow, but relaxing in your car while it drive’s itself is no longer just a dream. In the meanwhile, make sure that you drive safely and that you have car insurance that fully protects you in case of an accident. Contact our experienced insurance agents at Buttery-Wulff-Mamminga today to receive a quote.