California Starts Issuing Self-Driving Car Permits To Google, Mercedes, Audi, Others But They Need A Steering Wheel

California is making it legal for self-driving vehicles to hit the road. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has started issuing permits allowing these self-driving cars to be tested on the state’s public roads so long as certain requirements are met and fees are paid.

A $150 application fee is required that will provide permits for 10 vehicles and 20 drivers. An additional $50 will add another 10 drivers. But that is not all. Back in May, new rules were outlined stipulating that a test driver is “either in immediate physical control of the vehicle or is actively monitoring the vehicle’s operations and capable of taking over immediate physical control.”

The new regulations has prompted Google to install a steering wheel and pedal system into its own self-driving car. But while these rules regulate the testing of self-driving cars, rules for public use are still being developed at the DMV though it is expected that such rules will be adopted by January 1, 2015.

So far California has issued permits to three companies with more companies applying for the permits. Google, Mercedes, and the Volkswagen Group of America have received their permits to start testing their self-driving vehicles on California’s public roads.

Are you excited about self-driving cars starting to make their way onto public roads or does it make you nervous?