Virginia Opens Its Roads To Self Driving Cars

Virginia is for robot lovers

Google Self-Driving Car

Google Self-Driving Car

Steve Jurvetson/Flickr CC by 2.0

Self-driving cars are taking to the streets in California this summer, but the Golden State isn't the only one opening its roads to autonomous cars.

Virginia just announced that 70 miles of highway in the Commonwealth would be open to self-driving cars, like the cars in Google's fleet. Any autonomous vehicle wanting to travel those routes, called the Virginia Automated Corridors, will be overseen by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which helped the state government plan the project.

As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the plan is for companies to test how their cars react in real-world situations on highways packed with human drivers. People worried about potential crashes should remember that in California, accidents involving self-driving cars have all been the fault of humans so far.

The Virginia Automated Corridors follow a (very) rough circle, encompassing Interstate 66, I-495, I-95, state routes 29 and 50, and two different test tracks.

Virginia Automated Corridors

Virginia Automated Corridors

VTTI

As self-driving technology gets more advanced and safer, more states are taking a chance on allowing companies to road test their products. California, Florida, Michigan, and the District of Columbia all have laws regulating self-driving cars, and Nevada recently hosted the debut of the first self-driving truck.