The Golden State, California, has given automakers the green light to test unmanned self-driving cars on public roads, reports Engadget.
The permissions afforded by the state for unmanned vehicle testing are limited to the confines of a business park located in Contra Costa County-an area just east of San Francisco.
Roughly four years ago to the day, California lawmakers approved the initial testing of autonomous cars with human co-pilots on public roads, demonstrating the state’s continued support of local technology companies which are bent on developing autonomous drive technologies.
Among the companies set to benefit from the new public-road testing liberties are Uber, Google, Apple and others.
In a nod to public safety, unmanned test vehicles will not be permitted to exceed speeds of 35 mph (56 km/h), thus making it easier to run from or swerve around a potentially errant autonomous car.
Given the absence of human drivers or co-pilots, it’s expected that the self-driving cars soon to be circulating Contra Costa will be devoid of steering wheels or foot pedals.