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Governor signs bill to OK driverless cars

Original post made on Sep 26, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown arrived at Google Tuesday to sign a bill to allow the testing of driverless cars on California's roads. And how did he get there? The governor rolled into the Mountain View campus alongside Google co-founder Sergey Brin in one of the company's self-driving vehicles.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 5:03 PM

Comments (16)

Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

Research on driverless cars has been ongoing for decades. In the mid 90's, I saw posters on the PATH project, a collaboration including UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, perhaps Stanford and others, working on the same goal, including platoons of automated cars speeding nearly bumper to bumper down the freeway. It is interesting to see the fruits of these labors take so long and also be so close to fruition.

Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Perfect tool for brainless bureaucrats!

Posted by Driver, a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

What I want to know is if your driverless car can be your "designated driver"?


Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

doing a favor for the driverless car developers, as opposed to cutting CA government spending in order to save this state; the financial situation of the state of CA is TERRIBLE. Note what politiians spends their time on: working hard on multiple ways to raise our taxes/fees - and specialty stuff like high speed rail and this. In view of the current economy can anyone justify Brown's determination to push high speed rail down our throats?

Posted by the price of tea in China, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Think I'll post something on the weekly sale items at Safeway... just to see if @neighbor can turn that into an anti-politician rant as well.

Posted by Crimewatcher, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Very soon, the car will be used for patrolling the neighborhood with surveillance camera...

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Anything that has the potential to mitigate the exponentially expanding number of incompetent drivers is a good thing.

I just hope they will be able to port this technology to bicycles. The need there is even greater than with automobiles.

Posted by ODB, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 27, 2012 at 2:03 am

Suppose a driverless car is involved in or causes an accident and fails to stop. Hit and run is a felony in California. Worse, suppose it commits vehicular manslaughter. Just imagine the lawsuits flying every which way.

It smells to me as if Governor Moonbeam is in the pocket of Google on this one, in addition to Parsons Brinckerhoff and organized labor for his HSR folly.

Posted by Agree, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 27, 2012 at 2:34 am

Agree about the Patrolling. But, is that a bad thing?

Posted by Mike, a resident of University South
on Sep 27, 2012 at 6:54 am

If I'm going down I-5 in the left lane and want to get over to the right lane to exit, will the endless train of connected cars in the right lane let me through?

Posted by I wonder, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2012 at 7:43 am

I kind of wonder how a driverless car deals with getting more gas. If yor are traveling to somewhere that is beyond what your gas tank has fuel for, does it just take you to a gas station as it needs fuel, or must a passenger notice the fuel level and add a new stop. Then there is the unpreditdicted stops we do on a long drive, rest stops, gas stations, food stops, vista points, etc. I am curious how it deals with the spontaneous needs of its passengers like a human driver could. The places you could not know you wanted to stop at until you were on the trip. I look forward to this technology being available outside the research community.

Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

I think the platoon of cars would be in the left lane (aka "#1", "fast lane"), so there wouldn't be the issue of having to cross the platoon to exit or enter the freeway. But I imagine for those kind of reasons (normal cars interacting with platooned auto cars), that platooning would be a later development once there are enough on the road to make such organization make sense.

At lunch today, my colleagues worried about people hacking driverless cars. No need to jack it, just make it drive to your secret garage.

Posted by Robota, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Driverless cars have a human override in case of emergencies, I believe.

Posted by ODB, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Don't worry, folks. I'm sure the Governot thought about all of these issues before he signed the bill.

Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

Correct: "The bill, authored by state Sen. Alex Padilla, will allow licensed and bonded drivers to operate self driving cars for testing purposes, and requires that a human be at the wheel in case of emergencies."

Apparently Arizona already passed such a law, so Governor Brown is probably trying to keep research and manufacturing jobs for these cars in our state. As for losing jobs like Taxi Driver to driverless cars, that is probably eventually in our future, and would happen whether they are developed here in CA or in AZ or elsewhere.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Meanwhile capital,jobs and firms are leaving in droves.

California is facing immanent bankruptcy

Let us get real

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