Ready or not, here they come. Fully driverless cars have been given the green light to start operating in California.
New regulations from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revealed this week have approved self-driving cars to run on public roads in just a month. By 1 April, Californian commuters could find themselves cruising next to cars with only passengers inside.
According to Electrek, California has led the way for years in the autonomous vehicle sector but has recently been caught by states such as Arizona and Nevada. By rolling out driverless cars to the roads, California hopes it will again push itself to the forefront.
But before you expect to see empty cars driving around, the DMV still requires a "remote operator to continuously supervise the vehicle's performance of the dynamic driving task".
The DMV has defined a remote operator as "a natural person: who possesses the proper class of license for the type of test vehicle being operated; is not seated in the driver's seat of the vehicle; engages and monitors the autonomous vehicle; is able to communicate with occupants in the vehicle through a communication link. A remote operator may also have the ability to perform the dynamic driving task for the vehicle or cause the vehicle to achieve a minimal risk condition."
Features like the autopilot on Tesla model cars have been legal for some time, however the move to entirely driverless cars is still worrying for some people. Alphabet – Google's parent company – has been working on the Waymo driver less car for years and has uploaded a video to YouTube showing what the car can "see".
Across its fleet of cars, Waymo has driven five million combined miles in autonomous mode, according to Recode.