On Tuesday a bill was put into California law that creates a legal framework and operational safety standards for the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill “SB1298” at Google HQ with Google’s Sergey Brin on hand to provide additional information regarding the development of self-driving cars.
Google has been working hard on making autonomous vehicles a reality for over two years now. Brin admits that there is “a long list” of issues to get through before such vehicles will be able to take over the road. His team must take into account every possible “eventuality” a car might experience on the road. He does promise, however, that an autonomous car will never speed through a red light. At the signing, a reporter asked if Google has plans to manufacture their own vehicles at some point. Brin responded by saying such plans are not in the works; Google is busy developing the technology to make cars drive themselves and talks are already underway with popular car manufacturers and they will implement Google’s tech when it’s ready for primetime. And then there’s the ultimate question: when can we expect to actually see and use these smart cars? “You can count on one hand the number of years until ordinary people can experience this,” teased Brin. With the law in place it’s only a matter of when, not if. The future is coming.
Watch the California Governor and the Google genius talk about the bill and the initiative behind it in the video embedded above. Brin gives his two cents around the 6 minute mark. And yes, he’s sporting his pet Project Glass.