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You may or may not have seen them on the roads—cars with giant cameras attached to the top and the word Google plastered about. They’re Google cars, and they’re used so that Google can gain street views for their Google Street View feature.

In the past, Google cars were operated by people, like any other car on the road. These drivers would be Google employees who spent their days and nights traveling throughout different cities allowing their cameras to capture videos and information of the area. This information would then be used on both Google Maps and Google Street Views.

But that’s all about to change, thanks to Google’s creation of the driverless car. That’s right. Google has created a Google car that no longer needs to be operated by a real person. Instead, technology does it for them.

And don’t think that it will be years before you see these machines on the road. Nope. The use of driverless cars was already passed by the state of Nevada in June 2011, and the driverless car laws went into effect as of March 1, 2012. In May 2012, the first license was given out to a Toyota Prius as the first driverless car, which of course belonged to Google and used as a test subject.

Currently, Google has traveled over 480,000 miles without accidents, and they now have 12 driverless cars on the road. Right now, each car is still occupied by two people: one person in the driver seat and a Google engineer in the passenger seat, but Google will start to test the cars with only one passenger.

The car’s technology is created to drive the speed limit listed on Google Maps and uses sensors to maintain adequate distance from other cars and objects. The cars also allow for their driverless system to be completely overridden by a passenger simply by turning the wheel or stepping on the gas.

Google has used the information they gathered from test runs in Nevada to help push the SB 1298 bill in front of California legislature. Both the Senate and Assembly in California passed the bill, and on September 25, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown is scheduled to sign the law into effect.

The bill will force the state of California to create new laws and regulations for the use of driverless cars on their roads. Right now, all state laws regarding traffic rules and regulations are only for the use of vehicles operated by drivers.

As it would stand, rules would need to be changed by the DMV in order to authenticate the use of driverless vehicles. Automakers would need  to have their vehicles approved by the California DMV and registered, and a licensed driver would also need to be listed as an operator.

It is estimated that if the law is signed by Gov. Brown, California could start seeing driverless cars on the road by early 2015. The SB 1298 bill is not only allowing Google to operate driverless vehicles on the road, but will also open the door to other car manufacturers to create the same type of technologies.

Pretty soon, we’ll all be operating driverless cars.

Garrett Payne is a social media and marketing professional working with SEOMap.  SEOmap provides Keyword conversion analysis tools for SEO.