Are self-driving cars appearing on California streets?

December 22, 2014

self-driving carCalifornia regulators are lagging on their task of creating a plan to test self-driving cars, which some manufacturers are now unleashing on state roads for trial runs. [Business Journal]

Department of Motor Vehicles officials said this week their agency will not meet its Jan. 1 deadline of issuing rules on what carmakers must do to bring a self-driving vehicles to market. A 2012 state law required the DMV to create the regulations.

The DMV will not let members of the public obtain the cars until someone can certify that they pose no undue risk. However, the DMV has already issued testing permits to seven companies for their driverless prototypes, giving them permission to navigate on California roads.

In September, Google received state approval to test a fleet of Lexus SUVs, which the technology giant has since done. Google says it would like to partner with manufacturers rather than becoming a carmaker.

DMV officials say the agency needs more time to figure out how to determine whether the driverless cars are safe. Driverless cars are not expected to be ready for showrooms for at least a few years.

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Vehicles with hardware to drive themselves are already being delivered to customers around the world. One such dealer, Tesla Motors, builds its cars in Fremont California. The hardware has been packed into every car that’s left their assembly line since October. Tesla Motors is just waiting for the state to get its house in order before they enable the feature on the current tens of thousands, and eventually millions of cars.

As for safety, these cars can see in 360 degrees – something a human can’t do. These cars have long-range radar that can see through rain, snow, and sand – something a human can’t do. Within milliseconds, these cars can interpret a threat, develop multiple evasion plans, and begin executing said plans long before a human could see / identify / react. Humans may have always been behind the wheel in the past, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best way; and you’re likely to find that it is not!

I’m sure we’ve all encountered human drivers that would be better replaced by computers.

Modern cars have computers, they virtually never go out and well shielded.

What does eventually go bad are the sensors connected to the computers.

This is one reason why DMV wanted manual over-ride and the occupants ability to take control the old fashion way if the situation calls for it.

Exactly what’s to keep someone from hacking into these driverless car systems? How many times has your computer crashed? I can’t believe that people would trust cars which are installed by automobile manufacturers, who can’t even get airbags and ignition switches to work safely. Has anyone ever heard of a short circuit or system failure? Someday they may get this to work but don’t bet your life on it.

Might get this to work? Have you seen the Mercedes that parks itself? Or how about the Google test car that has been running all over CA. for almost the last two years?

Yea Airlines and trains weren’t great in the beginning either.

Cars are safer now than ANY time in our lives. Is it perfect? No but I am not one to focus entirely on the negatives while ignoring the positives that far outweigh them.

Oh and let me know how safe you feel with all the distracted drivers I drive by on the freeway I watching text. Yea it is sooooo safe now.

With all the distracted drivers we’ve had since the cell phone was introduced, this is nothing new…we’ve had driver less cars for decades….hopefully these are safer.

I’ve always loved the bumper car ride at the mid state fair now we can play on the interstate.

is this why we can’t have nice things?

If a driverless car is travelling in the carpool lane without a driver and the cops pull it over, to whom do they write the ticket?

(it’s a joke)

Answer: The programmer…

Does this mean if there is a solar flare or some event that creates a powerful EMP, will these high tech vehicles scater to the side of the road or just slam into each other? I smell another form of insurance risk that we will all pay, not to mention the additional vehicle and road costs after the lobbiest buy the politicians.


I don’t think these cars should be on the road UNTIL DMV makes some rule about them. They have test tracks ect… let them try them on those roads. Imagine the problems that would arise should a unmanned car hit you, who would be at fault, would there be insurance (for the car) normally it is for the driver. I think there are safer places to test a car than on roads that you and I drive on every day.

there’s been Google cars driving around Palo Alto in the Bay Area for years there are already approved in Nevada

With the amount of brain dead drivers I encounter daily, I don’t see how driver less could be more unsafe and personally, think it is a better option in the long run.