California grants Subaru permit to test self-driving cars

February 13, 2017

Subaru joined an increasingly large pool of automakers looking to the Golden State as a test bed for a driverless future.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles granted Subaru a permit February 9 to test self-driving cars in that state, Engadget reported. That made Subaru the 22nd company to secure a permit to use some of California's roads to develop cars that don't require driver intervention. Subaru joined a list that includes both automakers and tech firms like Google and Apple. 

DON'T MISS: Our 2017 Subaru Impreza review 

Subaru hasn't been as vocal about its plans for a driverless future as some automakers, but it was among the first to democratize what's widely considered the gateway to autonomous driving. The brand first began fitting its EyeSight system that combines camera-based adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and other features to its cars for the 2013 model year. 

A traffic jam assist system that stops and starts the brand's cars in congested driving is due to arrive sometime this year. Subaru has indicated it plans to offer a vehicle capable of fully autonomous driving—capable of changing lanes and steering around corners without any intervention from the car's driver—as soon as 2020. 

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