Audi to begin testing self-driving cars

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Photo: Audi via CNN

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Audi will begin testing self-driving cars in the state synonymous for cars: California.

The automaker received an autonomous driving permit from California. Audi said the permit was issued the same day that new state regulations governing the testing of self-driving cars go into effect.

Audi said that it’s already tested self-driving cars in Europe and other U.S. states where testing is permitted. It said the California is particularly important as a testing ground, since it’s home to the company’s Electronics Research Lab.

The lab, known as the ERL, is owned by Audi parent Volkswagen and is located in the Silicon Valley city of Belmont.

Nevada, Florida and Michigan have also passed legislation allowing for the testing of self-driving cars on public roads. Audi said that in 2012 it was the carmaker to receive a Nevada license plate allowing autonomous driving.

Google revealed its self-driving prototype in May and expects it to hit the market in the next five or six years.

Nissan plans to have a self-driving car on the market by 2020.