California became the third state to sign a bill legalizing computer-controlled vehicles on Tuesday, September 25.
"Today we're looking at science-fiction becoming tomorrow's reality," said California state Governor Jerry Brown who backed the legislation.
The bill was signed at Google's headquarters, which has been the testing home for the past several years for up to 12 driverless cars.
The bill requires the California Department of Motor Vehicles to draft regulations by 2015.
According to BBC World News, the cars are powered and controlled by a combination of sensors, location tracking and on board computing power. A licensed driver would still be mandatory to provide back-up emergency.
Such an advancement is a step up from the guided parking and adaptive cruise control that is already in use within the car industry.
"I think the self-driving car can really dramatically improve the quality of life for everyone," said Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Although there are many who support the bill, there is some concern.
"Unfortunately, this legislation lacks any provision protecting
an automaker whose car is converted to an autonomous operation vehicle without
the consent or even knowledge of that auto manufacturer," said the Alliance of
Even in the midst of providing safety measures, there was one minor accident involving one of the vehicles in the summer of 2011.
Governor Brown is adhering to the new regulations in Nevada, the
first state to pass a law for driverless cars earlier this year, followed by
According to Brin, the new technologically-advanced vehicles
should be commercially available within the next decade.
Audi, Ford and Volvo are experimenting with the new technology.