Google Disappointed With Proposed DMV Rules For Driverless Cars

Google Disappointed With Proposed DMV Rules For Driverless Cars
google_car by sam_churchill on 2012-05-21 08:33:10

Google is “gravely disappointed” with the proposed rules for self-driving cars from California regulators. The proposed rules would restrict the use of driverless cars, banning them from running on the public roads in the state if there is no licensed human driver aboard.

Proposed rules against the concept of mobility

The California Department of Motor Vehicles’ proposal will make it mandatory for all driverless cars to have a steering wheel, pedals and a human driver with an “autonomous vehicle operator certificate” to take control of any unexpected scenario.

Johnny Luu, a spokesman at Google, said that while developing vehicles that can take anyone from one place to another at the push of a button, the company was hoping to transform mobility for millions of people. Self-driving cars would make this happen in two ways – accidents caused by human error would be reduced by 94%, and everyday destinations will become within the reach of those who are unable to drive a car.

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“Safety is our highest priority and primary motivator as we do this. We’re gravely disappointed that California is already writing a ceiling on the potential for fully self-driving cars to help all of us who live here,” Luu said. Company officials have been saying that they expect the technology to be consumer ready within five or six years

Why is Google disappointed?

What makes Google “gravely disappointed” is that after years of hard work, it designed a prototype two-person vehicle that won’t have a steering wheel or pedals in final form. Before this prototype, the Internet firm tested the technology for several years with sensor-loaded Lexus SUVs. There are temporary steering and pedals on the handful of prototypes that are running on the streets of Mountain View, California, and Austin, Texas as part of the testing today.

Technological changes are fast overtaking the automotive industry. Even though autonomous cars are seen as the future, major changes are being made in the driver-assist area currently. Large auto-makers such as Ford, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and others are adding safety-focused features to even moderately priced vehicles to promote safety. Some features are meant for detection of other cars in the nearby lanes, while other improvements take over braking on detecting pedestrians or other object on the road ahead.

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