Google Inc (GOOGL): New California Rules Hinder Self-Driving Cars


Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) may find it harder to further its goal of putting self-driving cars on the roads in California as new testing rules in the state may hinder the internet giant from even testing its futuristic vehicles.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, testing rules from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which will take effect on September 16 require vehicles that will be tested on California roads to enable drivers to have “immediate physical control” of the vehicle while testing it on public roads.

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What this means for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is that it cannot test its newest self-driving cars, as it currently does, on California roads. The latest version of the self-driving vehicle debuted by the California-based tech giant showed a lack of steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals, which are the features needed to be fulfilled under the new testing rules of the aforementioned state.

Nonetheless, rather than testing their new self-driving vehicles on private roads, it seems that the internet giant is keen on modifying its vehicles to satisfy California’s new rules. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will place steering wheels and pedals in its cars to test these cars in the state.

“With these additions, our safety drivers can test the self-driving features, while having the ability to take control of the vehicle if necessary,” Google spokeswoman Courtney Hohne was quoted by the publication as saying.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the latest hindrance to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s plan to put driverless cars on the roads in California point out just how challenging a goal the technology luminary has. The publication points out that when Ron Medford, director of safety for Google’s car project, asked California to allow other self-driving vehicles such as trucks and motorcycles to be tested in the state, the California DMV rejected the request.

Meanwhile, the company is said to start testing its modified self-driving cars with a speed limit of 25 mph on private roads in California next month. The internet giant is said to be making about 100 of these prototype cars for testing.

Hedge funds with a position in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) include Ken Fisher‘s Fisher Asset Management. The fund reported 745,519 shares of the internet giant by the end of the second quarter of 2014.

Disclosure: None

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