Audi Gets First Self-Driving Car Permit in California

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

California issued its first self-driving car permit for use on state roads today, marking a milestone in the journey toward mass market adoption of the technology.

“Obtaining the first permit issued by the State of California shows that we intend to remain the leader in this vital technology frontier,” Audi of America president Scott Keogh said. Audi said today that obtaining the permit is especially important to the project’s progress because its Electronics Research Lab is located in California. While the state allowed limited autonomous vehicle testing on its roads in the past, the state legislature passed new laws that will eventually see the technology passed into consumer hands.

Under the new rules, Audi will be allowed to have up to 10 autonomous vehicles on California roads with up to 20 licensed operators. The operators are required to complete a training program and must report any accidents and instances where they are required to take over for the car to the DMV.

SEE ALSO: California DMV Announces New Self-Driving Car Rules

Audi said it is working on developing a semi-autonomous “Piloted Driving” system that will be able to handle driving in some scenarios, but that will also require driver input. That technology is expected to arrive in production vehicles within the next five years.

“California has shown time and time again that it is a global technological leader and today marks the beginning of a new era for the auto industry,” Sen. Alex Padilla said. “Driverless vehicle technology has the potential to revolutionize driving, reduce traffic accidents and save lives. I applaud the efforts of Audi of America and others whose commitment is making this technology a reality.”

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Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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