Google’s autonomous car is now able to go it alone

Published Date: 5th Oct 2016

Up until now any company wanting to test fully autonomous cars have only been able to do so on private property.

The current law states that if the autonomous cars are used on public roads then a technician must be present along with normal controls like a steering wheel, brake and accelerator pedals, so the car can be taken over and driven safely in case of an emergency. The new law in California will change all this.

The Governor of California Jerry Brown, signed a bill on Thursday last week, that allows limited testing of fully autonomous vehicles without the human backup and controls currently in place.


The new bill only covers certain areas in California, the former Concord Naval Weapons Station and San Ramon business park are included alongside public roads within the area. The vehicles are only allowed to go up to 35MPH and any accidents must be reported within 10 days.

Google has been pushing and waiting for a while for the law to change so their self driving cars can be really put to the test while Tesla has decided to stick with cars that allow human intervention.

At the moment both Honda and Otto (a company owned by Uber), are using the California testing facilities outlined above with Apple and Google interested also. Based on the outcome of the initial testing, we could well see other states following suite and allowing the use of fully automated cars on public roads in certain areas. Otto motors is a division of a Canadian robotics company currently working on autonomous trucks for distributing goods on the public roads.