The State of California DMV issued Audi the very first permit to being testing self-driving cars on public roads in that state. New California regulations require autonomous car manufacturers to insure or bond the cars for $5 million each, and report any accidents to the DMV.
California DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said, “Autonomous vehicles are the future of transportation. Testing on public roads is one step to developing this technology, and the DMV is excited in facilitating the advancement of autonomous vehicles in California.”
For Audi, scoring the first permit is a coup, albeit a temporary one. “Audi is a driving force behind the research taking automated driving from science fiction to pre-production readiness,” said Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America. “Obtaining the first permit issued by the state of California shows that we intend to remain the leader in this vital technology frontier.”
Nissan, Ford, GM and Mercedes-Benz have all been experimenting with autonomous automobiles, and Google has been testing its car, as well. Many experts are anticipating that at least some form of self-driving car will be on the road by 2020.