Google Warns California DMV Not To Stifle Self-Driving Cars with Regulations

Jan 28, 2015 06:00 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Google has issued a word of warning to state regulators not to crush the self-driving Google car fleet in a pile of safety regulations.

Officials representing the Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered tech giant spoke on Tuesday at a public workshop and expressed their desire that California DMV officials learn from Google's own safety process instead of designing their own, the Sacramento Business-Journal reported.

Since Google has designed the vehicle, it is much better equipped to outline safety procedures, a representative said.

"The DMV is not in the best position to evaluate the safety of any one of these products," said Bryan Salesky, program manager of Google's autonomous vehicle unit. "Safety is built into the product from day one. It's something that is organic to what we do."

Salesky called the possibility of state DMV-designed regulations for the Google car "a dangerous route."

The DMV plans to host a second hearing to discuss self-driving cars and public safety.

Along with most of the rest of the auto industry, Google is optimistic that self-driving cars will be common on roads by 2020--even though the tech company's bug-like prototype still hasn't proven itself on unmapped roads or in inclement weather.

The white car will likely evolve quite a bit by 2020 and may not necessarily resemble the initial model.

The Google prototype is "a practical, near-term testing platform" that will develop over time, project director Chris Urmson told Reuters earlier this month.

"Airliners today don't look like the Wright brothers' flyer," he said. "If you looked at carriages back before we had cars, they looked quite different than cars today."

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