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California says No to Google Car Without a Steering Wheel

By Sefra Orlick

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The future of self-driving cars is amongst us, but California’s Department of Motor Vehicles new testing rules puts a dent in Google’s goal of autonomous cars.

 Earlier this year, Google created quite a stir with its unveiling of a self-driving cars that have no steering wheel or pedals for braking and accelerating. The California’s DMV rules, taking effect on September 16th, will require a driver to be able to take “immediate physical control” of a vehicle on public roads if necessary. This of course, means a car must include a steering wheel and pedals. 

While Google can test their fully autonomous prototypes outside California, the company plans to comply with the California rules and place small temporary steering wheels and pedals in their vehicles that drivers can use while testing. Google will be making about 100 of its autonomous cars and cap their speed at 25 mph so as to limit damage in case of accidents, and to also make them easier to handle during testing. Testing is due to start next month on private roads, and will include a temporary manual for controls.

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