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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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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