Alphabet Inc, , , Tesla Motors Inc and other car makers have been testing or using self-driving features on the road for quite some time now. Despite that, there is no handbook that lays down the robot rules of the road. Soon California could be the first to have it as it publishes first-in-the-world consumer rules for the self-driving cars next year, says a report from San Jose’s Mercury News.
Road rules for self-driving cars
Those regulations should ideally have been issued a this as per the schedule. But there are many issues that are keeping DMV officials busy. The people in charge of the rule book are required to find answers to several problems, and one among those is to handle autonomous car and their owners.
Tesla Model S owner Brooks Weisblat was driving too fast when the Florida Highway Patrol pulled him over this month. Weisblat pleaded innocence saying it was his EV driving and not him. Weisblat expected to get a ticket for this, but he got away with a warning notice instead.
Alphabet Inc has, for several years, been testing its self-driving cars near its headquarters in Mountain View. Those cars do not need any human assistance except for instructions from the rider about the destination. Most carmakers working on self-driving skills are developing such tools that provide relief to human drivers, but do not replace them entirely.
Google, Apple threat to Japanese carmakers
Ken Okuyama, a high-end Japanese designer, who has designed cars like Ferrari F60 Enzo and Porsche Boxster, believes Japan’s position as a major car producer could be at risk because of the game-changing self-drive technology from Google and Apple.
Speaking to Reuters, the expert said if the Japanese car makers don’t watch out then they might end up as suppliers to those tech firms. Okuyama said the ultimate test for Toyota and other mainstream automakers would be to take on Alphabet Inc and Apple.
Writing code has become very vital to car making, and this has put several Japanese firms are under the pressure of proving their worth as carmakers along with competing with tech giants. Admitting to the threat from the tech firms, Honda said it is also working on a technology to program cars drive automatically.
“At this point, whether Google or Apple can come up with a car is unclear,” Honda said. But they are spending aggressively to recruit people to achieve that and in that sense … we can’t rule out the possibility they may eventually become a competitor.”
In pre-market, trading today, Google shares were down 0.15% at $729. Year to date, the stock is up almost 37% while in the last one-month, it is up over 14%.