SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd has received a permit from the state of California to drive its autonomous vehicles on public streets, joining companies ranging from Google Inc to Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) in testing the fast-growing technology.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles on its website listed Honda as the most recent of 10 companies that had received the self-driving permits as of Friday.
Other companies already approved include Daimler AG’s Mercedes Benz, Tesla Motors Inc, Nissan Motor Co Ltd and BMW AG.
Honda, which is deploying advanced driver-assistance systems across its Honda and Acura models, is one of many carmakers investing in self-driving technology. Some, including Tesla and BMW, already offer semi-autonomous features.
The Japanese carmaker already has a secure autonomous vehicle testing facility in Concord, California, northeast of San Francisco, where such cars could get a test run before on-road testing, a spokesman said.
California is one of a handful of states, along with Michigan, Florida and Nevada, that have passed legislation enabling testing of self-driving cars on public roads.
Google and other automotive manufacturers and suppliers have said the technology to build self-driving cars should be ready by 2020.
Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn