Driverless Cars Coming Soon to a State Near You (If You Happen to Live Near California)

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Google insists that its technology for driverless cars is just about ready for prime time. Apparently the California legislature, which a few months ago was still hung up on liability issues, now agrees:

SB 1298 from Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Van Nuys, was passed unanimously by the Senate Wednesday night following the Assembly’s 74-2 approval Tuesday….The bill charges the DMV by January 2015 with determining standards for cars that would essentially operate on autopilot, since such technology is so new that the state’s vehicle code never mentions driverless cars.

That’s pretty amazing. Not the technology, mind you, but the fact that California’s Democrats and Republicans managed to agree on something virtually unanimously. Normally I wouldn’t put money on them coming together to pass a Mother’s Day resolution.

I’m planning to buy a new car later this year, and I usually keep my cars for about ten years before I replace them. That said, I’m willing to bet that this is the last car I ever buy that I drive myself.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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