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Self-driving cars are now street legal in California

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The state's governor signs into law a bill explicitly allowing smart vehicles like the ones being developed by …

California has become the third state to welcome driverless cars with open arms. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law today that officially legalized self-driving vehicles, following in the footsteps of Nevada and Florida. The signing event was held at the Google complex in Mountain View, Calif. where engineers have been working on driverless car concepts for years and employees routinely use them to commute to and from work.

Such vehicles weren't technically illegal to operate before passage of the bill, but Google and others working on similar technology hope that by making their use explicitly legal it will clear up any confusion on the part of law enforcement and limit the chance they might be disallowed in the future. California's bill reportedly contains fewer restrictions on the cars' use than other states, such as Nevada where each vehicle must log a certain amount of testing hours before hitting the open road, but the door is open for potential regulations to be amended at a later date.

Google believes that smart cars will prove to be much safer than those with human drivers, in part because they won't need to worry about distractions and typical reaction times. That belief was given some validity this summer when the search giant revealed that its driverless cars had completed 300,000 miles of testing without a single incident.

[Image credit: Google]

This article was written by Randy Nelson and originally appeared on Tecca

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