Honda receives California permit to test driverless cars on public roads

California’s public streets will now witness the testing of Honda’s autonomous vehicles. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has just updated its list of companies that have received its permit to test their self-driving cars on Californian roads. The website contains a list of 10 most recent companies to receive government permission as of September 4, and it has added Honda’s name as well to make it the tenth company to get a green signal. Those having received the green signal already range from top tech firms like Google to automakers like BMW, Nissan Motor Co, Volkswagen among many more.

From a local testing facility in the Bay Area to the public roads, Honda Motor Co. has shown stimulated growth in terms of the progress made with the development of autonomous vehicles. It already has a driverless testing area in Concord, which is towards the north east of San Francisco.

The Japanese automaker has been working on driver-assistance systems for the Honda and Acura models. It has signed up to use the Android Auto software by Google for its autonomous vehicles just like automakers Hyundai and Audi. Last year, Honda revealed a prototype Acura RLX, which bore all the requisite sensors and computing technology for an autonomous vehicle. However, it has been silent about further development of driverless vehicles.

California is not the only state to have granted permission to companies for testing their autonomous vehicles. Following the trend are states like Florida, Michigan, and Nevada, who have also passed legislation in favor of the same. BMW and Tesla Motors have already started offering semi-autonomous features in their vehicles.

Safety measures are being thoroughly ensured by authorities. This was evidenced by a recent report released by Associated Press. An excerpt from the document given by AP stated “Ten automakers have committed to the government and a private safety group that they will include automatic emergency braking in all new cars, a step transportation officials say could significantly reduce traffic deaths and injuries”. Also, the California DMV website stated that “a manufacturer shall report any accident originating from the operation of the autonomous vehicle that resulted in property damage, bodily injury or death within 10 days.”

The technology of driverless cars has been expected to be ready by 2020 according to a few auto manufacturers and tech giant Google. The year is likely to mark the launch of the first commercial autonomous car. While Google has been testing its self-driving cars for quite some time on public roads, Apple has not revealed much about the development of its own driverless vehicle.