As quickly as California made permits for autonomous vehicles available last week, they were snapped up by two automakers – and a technology company. California passed a law allowing testing of driverless cars in 2012, but it didn’t take effect until this week.
Audi was the first automaker to get a permit from California last Tuesday, followed by Mercedes-Benz and Google. California issued 29 permits: 25 for Google’s fleet of self-driving vehicles, and two each for Mercedes and Audi. The permits allow the companies to test their self-driving technology on highways and on surface streets with a human “safety driver” at the wheel as a backup to a car’s automated controls.
While other states have passed similar laws, in our view it’s another sign of how automotive technology innovation is shifting to the West Coast, and particularly California’s Silicon Valley.
Source: Audi first to get California’s new self-driving car permit – MSN Autos