May 24, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State lawmakers are anticipating the day when self-driving vehicles navigate California's roads guided by radar and GPS systems instead of human hands on the steering wheel.

The state Senate approved a bill Monday that would establish safety and performance standards for what are known as “autonomous” vehicles.

SB1298 by Sen. Alex Padilla also would allow the self-guiding vehicles on streets and highways as long as a licensed driver is aboard. The bill passed 37-0 and goes to the Assembly.

Padilla, a Democrat from Los Angeles, says the vehicles can reduce accidents caused by human error.

Nevada and Florida have enacted similar laws. Padilla’s office says bills also are pending in Arizona, Hawaii and Oklahoma.

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