Standing around drinking fruit juice at parties to which you’ve had to drive, will become a thing of the past – a quaint anachronism.
That bugbear of modern socialising – the drink-driving laws – are set to become an irrelevance.
The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has signed legislation paving the way for driverless cars in California.
“Today we’re looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow’s reality – the self-driving car,” said Brown, “anyone who gets inside a car and finds out the car is driving will be a little skittish, but they’ll get over it.”
The legislation sets a framework for safety and performance regulations to test driverless cars. A licensed driver, able to over-ride the auto-pilot at any time, would still need to be behind the wheel as a back up.
According to Google, which pioneered the driverless cars, their safety record is expected to be better than driven cars. Google has 12 driverless cars which have driven 300,000 with only a single minor accident.
‘I think the self-driving car can really dramatically improve the quality of life for everyone,’ says Google co-founder Sergey Brin pointing out that they are a boon for the blind, disabled, elderly and intoxicated.
Brin says the cars will be on the market within a decade.
Toyota, Audi, BMW, Ford and Volvo have been working on autonomous cars for many years.