Someday soon -- possibly within the next 3 to 5 years, according to predictions of the California Department of Motor Vehicles' chief counsel, Brian Soublet -- autonomous cars will be a regular feature on the streets. Once the dream of geeks and sci-fi fans, this will be everyone's reality and lawmakers are preparing for our brave new world.
Last month, the Department of Transportation announced that it is working on model legislation for autonomous cars within 6 months, and plans to spend $4 billion on auto-pilot projects. The hope is that states will adopt the federal government's as-yet-unformulated model laws and that a uniform approach to self-driving cars will exist nationwide. But right now there is concern that if the government does not get up to speed soon, carmakers will just self-certify the safety of their new rolling computers, taking a "trust me" approach to transportation of the future.