California: Google's driverless cars take to the road
Google's purpose-built driverless cars have been given the green light to drive on public roads for the first time.
Until now they have been limited to testing on private tracks and not alongside regular traffic, but the technology giant has received licensing to test the autonomous cars on the roads in Mountain View, California, where it is based.
Google has tested driverless car technology on public roads before, but this was software controlling modified vehicles. This new test will involve the prototype of Google's own design.
The cars will not be completely robotic however, with Google confirming that safety drivers will be on board during the trials.
Chris Urmson from Google said: "We've been running the vehicles through rigorous testing and ensuring our software and sensors work as they're supposed to on this new vehicle."
The prototypes will have their speed capped at 25 miles per hour and the safety drivers will have access to a steering wheel and pedals.