AI News, Why California Rules the Robocar Industry

Why California Rules the Robocar Industry

California almost certainly has more self-driving cars and operators on public roads than the rest of the world.

For a start, its reliably mild, dry, and sunny climate is perfect for road-testing early generations of vehicles that still balk at snow, fog, and heavy rain.

But the Golden State has the advantage because it’s also home to Silicon Valley, where everything a prospective driverless car manufacturer needs—software engineers, hardware geeks, roboticists, venture capital—is available in a near-endless supply.

While Google did not invent the self-driving car, it can lay claim to having invented the industry of self-driving cars—purchasing startups, hiring experts, and developing essential mapping and navigation technologies.

It was the first to test experimental vehicles at scale, the first to move from relatively safe highways to unpredictable city streets, and the first to construct a purpose-built, steering-wheel-free, self-driving prototype.

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