While the public has been slowly warming to the idea of self-driving cars and many people estimate that it will arrive in a decade more or less, Google is indicating that it will be ready a much sooner.
The company is calling on Congress to adopt new rules that would fast track the variety of self-driving cars that have no steering wheels or pedals, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Chris Urmson, head of Google's autonomous vehicle unit, sent a letter on Friday to U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, offering the outline of a plan that would allow auto manufacturers to prove that its fully autonomous vehicles are ready for sale to the public.
The framework Google suggests would allow any automaker to follow the same path, pushing its product into commercial production and public use as long as the vehicles could pass the muster of the new legislation, according to the AP report.
Adopting the proposed framework would bring "enormous potential safety benefits ... quite promptly with appropriate safety conditions and full public input," according to a summary of the report, which was obtained by the AP.
Google's proposal was a response to a call from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which invited industry input on ways to quicken the pace at which autonomous vehicles are adopted whenever they're truly ready for the open road.
Current legislation doesn't allow for the sale or use of automobiles in which drivers are unable to take control over the vehicles' steering wheels or pedals. And changes to the current rules could take years, unless revisions are prioritized.
The company's proposal is the start of a process to build "the right framework that will allow deployment in a safe and timely manner," stated Google Spokesperson Johnny Luu.
Google isn't the only company that has been working aggressively to clear the path for road-ready autonomous vehicles. Earlier this year, the Obama administration proposed $4 billion in spending on research and infrastructure improvement for self-driving cars.
Google representatives were among those present at the North American International Auto Show last January when Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx announced that the U.S. government would help clear the way for driverless cars and the Obama administration would push for the $4 billion in investments to support the technology.
"We are bullish on autonomous vehicles," said Foxx. "The actions we are taking today bring us up to speed."