Self-Driving Cars Are Party People's Dream Come True, But Party Buses Face Crackdown

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Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Party (bus) people: Woot-woot. - DENNIS CROWLEY / FLICKR
  • dennis crowley / Flickr
  • Party (bus) people: Woot-woot.
So this week California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that would make self-driving (a.k.a. "driverless") cars partially legal by 2015 while he approved another bill that cracks down on so-called party buses, which have actual live designated drivers.

Wait, what?

First of all, let's just say it for the record:

Self-driving cars would be the greatest invention for partiers ever:

In fact, they might even put party buses out of business. Can you imagine your drunk ass riding in the back of your own driverless car? Cool, huh.

But will California authorities actually allow you to let your car (of the future) be a designated driver?

Not yet. The governor's office says the bill by the San Fernando Valley's own state senator, Alex Padilla, only allows ...

click to enlarge HOT TUB PARTY BUS / FACEBOOK
  • Hot Tub Party Bus / Facebook

... driverless cars to be operated on public roads for testing purposes, provided that each vehicle has a fully licensed and bonded operator in the driver's seat to take control if necessary. The bill also instructs the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations that govern the licensing, bonding, testing and operation of autonomous vehicle technology.

In any case, there's always the party bus. Or not.

The guv also signed a bill that seeks to end teen drinking on said buses. Operators must card everyone on-board and, if people under 21 and alcohol are present, ensure there's a chaparone who will prevent kids from boozing.


Bus operators could face fines of up to $2,000 of they don't follow this law. But it doesn't go into effect until Jan. 1.

In the meantime, we're dreaming of robot-driven party buses.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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