Mercedes-Benz, Audi obtain California permits for self-driving cars

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 18, 2014 11:53 AM

(Reuters) - Mercedes-Benz, the luxury brand of Daimler AG, has received one of the first California licenses for self-driving cars, the company said on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Volkswagen AG's <VOWG_p.DE> luxury Audi brand said it received the first such license. On Tuesday, permits for autonomous cars undergoing testing became a requirement in the largest U.S. state.

Previously, automakers and Google Inc were allowed to test self-driving vehicles without a license.

Mercedes-Benz engineers will "teach" the autonomous cars how to operate safely on U.S. roads using different methods than are used in the testing and development of the cars in Germany, according to officials at Daimler and Mercedes-Benz.

Daimler and Volkswagen are both based in Germany.

Mercedes said its test drivers "must recognize clearly when the car is in autonomous driving mode and must be able to override this mode at any time; in addition, the car must be capable of stopping autonomously at any time."

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Audi said it was the first automaker to obtain a license for an autonomous car in Nevada, in 2012.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Detroit; editing by Matthew Lewis)