Google's autonomous car project has hit a bit of a road bump, but not quite a road block, as it faces challenges from an upcoming regulation from California's Department of Motor Vehicle that takes effect on September 16. Under the new state law, autonomous cars must have a steering wheel along with brake and acceleration pedals, elements that the Google car currently lacks.
Designed as a safety measure, the California wants the driver to be able to immediately take physical control of the car on public roads if needed.
Google says it will comply with the new rules by adding a temporary steering wheel and pedal system for testing on public roads.
Google cars that are tested on roads outside of the state or on private roads will not have to comply with the new rules.
Starting next month, Google will deploy about 100 of these fully autonomous vehicles for testing. The cars will not exceed driving speeds of 25 MPH to limit any damages if an accident occurs and initial testing will be conducted on private roads with these temporary controls installed.
Google also hopes to see autonomous driving cars as a service, much like that operated by Lyft and Uber. Potentially, even if you don't own a self-driving car, one can pick you up and drop you off at your destination.