Self-driving cars win legal approvals

Self-driving cars have long been a dream for futurists, but they came one huge step closer to reality this year, as California became the third state to legalize autonomous vehicles and Nevada issued the first license for testing them on public streets.

Google's self-driving car.
Google's self-driving car. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Self-driving cars have long been the dream of futurists, but they came one huge step closer to reality this year, as California became the third state to legalize autonomous vehicles, and Nevada issued the first license for testing on public streets and highways. Google released a demo video of one of its autonomous vehicles carting a blind man around town in May.

How realistic is it that you'll soon spot a driverless car in the next lane over? Probably not very. But testing will certainly continue in 2013, and Google's Sergey Brin is optimistic, predicting that consumers will be able to ride in self-driving cars within five years .

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