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Travel Tip: Putting the Brakes on Self-Driving Cars

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Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson

It may seem like it’s out of a sci-fi movie, but self-driving cars are here. Are you ready to get behind the wheel of an autonomous vehicle? Not so fast.

Google made headlines when it announced its self-driving car…and according to road tests, they’re pretty safe!

A self-driving car is defined as one that doesn’t require direct input from the driver in terms of steering, speed or braking.

The Google-tested cars have an override so a human can take over the automated system.

Recently, the states of Nevada, California and Florida passed legislation that allows the operation and licensing for these types of vehicles—under certain conditions.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has put the brakes on it for now. They’ve put out a list of rules and regulations regarding automated vehicles. At the top of the list? More testing and research. The idea is to establish standards for these vehicles before they become commercially available…we’re talking at least 4 years for the first phase of research.

So don’t expect to see a driverless car down the block anytime soon, but when it happens…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For more information, visit the Driving archives.

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