IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Autonomous Vehicles May Soon Drive California Roads

A Senate bill calling for safety standards for autonomous vehicles was approved by the California State Assembly on Aug. 28.

A new bill could pave the way for autonomous vehicles in California. SB 1298, authored by Sen. Alex Padilla, was approved by the State Assembly on Aug. 28 with a vote of 66 to two. The bill, which will move to the Senate for a final concurrence vote, would establish safety standards and registration procedures for autonomous vehicles that would allow citizens to operate such vehicles on state roads and highways.

Thousands of Californians die in auto accidents each year, Padilla said in a statement, and autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to save lives. “I envision a future that includes self-driving cars. Establishing safety standards for these vehicles is an essential step in that process,” Padilla said. “Developing and deploying autonomous vehicles will not only save lives, it will create jobs. California is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in this field.”

If passed, the new bill will do three things: safety and performance standards for the safe operation of autonomous vehicles will be established and enforced in California; licensed drivers will be allowed to test autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways; and the Department of Motor Vehicles will be required to create an application and approval process for autonomous vehicles.

Nevada became the first state to approve autonomous vehicle testing on public roads this past March, and autonomous vehicles are marked with red license plates to indicate they are being tested. Once approved, an autonomous vehicle is marked with a green license plate, rather than the usual blue and yellow state plate. Other states, like Arizona, Hawaii, Florida and Oklahoma, are considering similar legislation for autonomous vehicles.

Early efforts in robotic autonomy were cutting-edge and relatively successful compared to some of today's vehicles, but autonomous vehicle technology is making its way into mainstream products. The U.S. Department of Defense promoted the development of autonomous vehicles through its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Grand Challenges, three races held in 2004, 2005 and 2007 that awarded millions of dollars in prizes to the builders of cars that were able to complete the race.

Google's fleet of autonomous vehicles has logged hundreds of thousands of miles on public roads and as technology progresses, semi-automatic vehicle functions, such as blind-spot detection, adaptive cruise control, precollision braking and self-parking, become more common in commercial vehicles.

To some, these technologies point to a future where all road vehicles are driven autonomously, there are no collisions, and there is no traffic because a central computer manages vehicles using research inspired by insects.

Special Projects
Sponsored Articles
  • How the State of Washington teamed with Deloitte to move to a Red Hat footprint within 100 days.
  • The State of Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) reduced its application delivery times to get digital services to citizens faster.

  • Sponsored
    Like many governments worldwide, the City and County of Denver, Colorado, had to act quickly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support more than 15,000 employees working from home, the government sought to adapt its new collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams. By automating provisioning and scaling tasks with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, an agentless, human-readable automation tool, Denver supported 514% growth in Teams use and quickly launched a virtual emergency operations center (EOC) for government leaders to respond to the pandemic.
  • Sponsored
    Microsoft Teams quickly became the business application of choice as state and local governments raced to equip remote teams and maintain business continuity during the COVID-19 lockdown. But in the rush to deploy Teams, many organizations overlook, ignore or fail to anticipate some of the administrative hurdles to successful adoption. As more organizations have matured their use of Teams, a set of lessons learned has emerged to help agencies ensure a successful Teams rollout – or correct course on existing implementations.