Driverless cars heading to California

8:56 PM, Jan 15, 2014   |    comments
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(CNN) - In California, the future is now. Driverless cars already making their debut in test mode.

"They just told us to stop texting and driving. now they want us to not even hold the steering wheel," said Sacramento driver Salvador Gonzalez.

At this public hearing Tuesday in Sacramento, DMV regulators were getting feedback to figure out what car makers must do before they can test their computer driven vehicles on the road.

The question of who pays when a driverless car is in an accident has already been answered.

"The law requires the manufacturer gets a commercial policy to cover the car," said Armand Feliciano from the Association of California Insurance Companies.

The Department of Motor Vehicles believes driverless cars will be be safer than those driven by humans.

"These vehicles can recognize hazards in the road much sooner than humans can," said Bernard Soriano, Deputy Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles. "These vehicles can brake much more efficiently than humans can."

But not everyone is convinced.

"I don't think it's a good idea," said Sacramento driver Rocky Bhai. "I don't think they can think as well as we can."

But other drivers are excited about the emerging technology.

"That's cool," said Sacramento driver Marcos Martinez. "Something new. 2014 bring something new out, might as well."

For some drivers, it's all about opening up the road to those who can't drive now.

"Yeah for like blind people you know," said Sacramento driver Raquel DeAnda. "People that can't go on their own. If they have the money for it why not."

Driverless cars are expected to cost up to 2-thousand dollars more than a conventional car, although no rules have been established yet for allowing blind drivers behind the wheel.
 
It's still expected to take years before you see cars driving themselves on the streets of California.

But the DMV is rolling out new rules that will be in place for operating those vehicles by the end of this year.

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