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Audi gets first autonomous driving permit issued by California

State authorities in California have granted Audi an autonomous driving permit in exchange for surety bond coverage of at least $5 million for each vehicle covered by a licence.

Audi becomes the first car company to receive a newly established autonomous driving permit issued by California.

After conducting research over tens of thousands of kilometres in Europe and various U.S. states, Audi projects that autonomous driving technology could be ready for consumer introduction within five years.

Following the lead of Nevada, Florida, and Michigan, California has allowed limited use of its roads for automated vehicle testing in past years. But the state legislature, led by Sen. Alex Padilla, passed legislation that Gov. Jerry Brown signed in 2012 to establish new guidelines for testing and eventually consumer use of technologies, such as Audi Piloted driving.

“California has shown time and time again that it is a global technological leader and today marks the beginning of a new era for the auto industry,” Sen. Padilla said. “Driverless vehicle technology has the potential to revolutionize driving, reduce traffic accidents and save lives. I applaud the efforts of Audi of America and others whose commitment is making this technology a reality.”

In 2012, Audi was the first automotive OEM to receive one of the red autonomous vehicle license plates issues by the State of Nevada. In July, with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Audi was the first automaker to demonstrate the capability of its automated driving technologies on a Tampa expressway newly designated as an autonomous and connected car test bed.

Source : Audi