Google made headlines and struck fear and awe in the hearts of Californians when it received a permit to test autonomous vehicles in the state. Audi autonomous cars will now be on the roads alone, too, as they have been given the green light to test their own versions of driverless cars in California.
Audi’s permit in California will allow them to test their driverless automobiles on the roadways. The brand has already been testing its wares in Europe and a couple of other states in the U.S., but California is where the Audi Electronics Research Lab is located, making the location ideal. The research lab is owned by Volkswagen, which is the parent company of Audi.
Are autonomous cars dangerous?
There are two views on the topic of driverless cars: That they are downright terrifying and rather Sy-Fy, and that they are actually safer because they eliminate the prospect of human error. If you feel a sense of apprehension at the notion of a vehicle capable of stopping itself to prevent a collision, take a long look around at the drivers near you on your next outing. Count the number of distracted drivers texting, eating, grooming or watching movies on iPads and the idea of a self-propelling smart car may not seem so bad after all. The technology incorporated into an autonomous vehicle is actually quite inspiring and impressive, with the potential to reduce many collisions and therefore save a great number of lives in the future.
Other states are passing legislation to allow for driverless vehicle testing and providing special permits, including Michigan, Nevada and Florida. Back in 2012, Audi became the first company permitted to test these types of cars in Nevada. It will be interesting to see what the future holds in this arena. Will chauffeurs find themselves quite out of work?
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