CHULA VISTA (NEWS 8) - The Chula Vista City Council on Tuesday signed off on autonomous vehicle testing within city limits.
Autonomous cars are expected to be the new norm by 2025, and will be tested to reduce emissions, congestion and crashes in Chula Vista.
Chula Vista is now one of ten areas nationwide to be a 'proving ground' to test autonomous cars.
"Now it's a matter of putting vehicles on the road and interacting with traffic and interacting with pedestrians stopping before they make right turns on red," Jim Madaffer, California Transportation Commissioner.
When testing begins, it will take place on Interstate-15, State Route 125 in the South Bay and on Chula Vista streets - making the South Bay competitive for manufactures such as Volvo and Mercedes.
"Being on the cutting edge of that, knowing what is coming and where it is will really help us plan an even smarter city. We will know where to make investments and infrastructure improvements," said Chula Vista City Engineer, Bill Valle.
"I read a lot of things. The problem with most accidents is driver error, not vehicle failure or mechanical failure. Computers may crash in all kinds of things, but I don't think they get drunk," said Diana Herrera of Chula Vista.
Chula Vista driver Michelle Kelly said "we don't know until we actually do it."
Testing is expected to begin next year.
Car manufacturers of autonomous technology must apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and be approved to test a vehicle in autonomous technology mode on public roads.
The DMV has a full list of permit holders on its website.
San Diego is no stranger to self-driving cars - 20 years ago, driverless cars were tested on Interstate-15.