Google's self-driving robotic cars have been on the roads in California for two years, but they have been operating in a legal limbo. These cars were not explicitly forbidden, but laws governing self-driving vehicles didn't exist.
This week the state of Nevada finalized new rules that will make it possible for robotic self-driving cars to receive their own special driving permits. It's not quite driver's licenses for robots — but it's close.
The other day I went for a spin in a robotic car. This car has an $80,000 cone-shaped laser mounted on its roof. There are radars on the front, back and sides. Detailed maps help it navigate.
Do people notice it's a self-driving car and gawk?
Now, we look into the future - the not-so-distant future - at cars without drivers. Cars do all sorts of things automatically these days: parallel park, sense when you're tired, and sound an alarm. And cars exist - albeit not yet on the market - that can operate entirely free of a human driver.