Get ready to see more self driving cars on California roadways. Autonomous-vehicle testing permits have been issued to three companies by the state.
The California state Department of Motor Vehicles said this week that it’s issued autonomous-vehicle testing permits to three companies.The permits went to Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen’s Audi division, which have two each, and of course too Google, which obtained permits for 25 of its retrofitted Lexus SUVs, according to the DMV.Google’s self-driving Lexus vehicles are already a common sight on the streets around Mountain View, but under new regulations enacted this year, the giant tech company was required to obtain a state permit to continue testing those vehicles on public roads.Google is working on a new prototype vehicle that’s designed to operate without a human driver on board. The company says it will install temporary controls to meet California regulations for testing those new vehicles on public streets. But the company is also planning to test the cars — without drivers on board — at Moffett Field, the federal airbase located next door to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View.Other car makers are experimenting with partially autonomous vehicles that are capable of driving themselves under certain circumstances. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who’s also interested in the notion, told the Wall Street Journal this week that he believes fully autonomous vehicles will be ready for the road in five to six years.(Image Source: iCLIPART)