A bill that would allow autonomous cars to be tested on California's roads easily passed the state's Assembly and Senate this week. The bill, which passed the Assembly on Tuesday with a vote of 74-2 and unanimously passed the Senate yesterday, will establish safety regulations for use of self-driving cars. However, autonomous cars will only be permitted for testing purposes and under the condition that the driver can manually take control of the vehicle. A provision to allow autonomous vehicles on the road entirely without a driver has been removed since the bill's introduction earlier this year.
Once passed, the bill requires the DMV to adopt the new regulations by January 1st, 2015. Nevada became the first state to pass similar regulations on self-driving cars in February, and although Google reported earlier this month that it has already logged more than 300,000 miles in its test program, the search giant will likely need to apply for a permit to continue testing its autonomous cars in the state.