By the end of the year, roads in California may be filled with driverless cars. That is if new legislation removing the requirement for a backup driver is passed. The state approved 27 companies to test their driverless vehicles. The manufacturers have to certify that their cars can operate without standard controls. The cars must meet federal safety standards as well. There must be a remote operator that operates the car and communicates with the passengers.
A public hearing is scheduled for April 25 after a 45-day public comment period. The first self-driving cars are expected to be available in 2020 or 2021.
Source: Times of San Diego
Wikipedia provides interesting information about the consequences of driverless cars:
Among the anticipated benefits of automated cars is the potential reduction in traffic collisions (and resulting deaths and injuries and costs), caused by human-driver errors, such as delayed reaction time, tailgating, rubbernecking, and other forms of distracted or aggressive driving. Consulting firm McKinsey & Company estimated that widespread use of autonomous vehicles could “eliminate 90% of all auto accidents in the United States, prevent up to US$190 billion in damages and health-costs annually and save thousands of lives.