But Mountain View has just provided an update on its driverless car project, and apparently it always knew that California law would required test vehicles to have a manual fallback option.
Google says it "had a plan ready", and that plan was to fit a temporary steering wheel to its cars. That obviously contradicts Google's master plan for a totally autonomous vehicle, but after testing it should be able to ditch the wheel - or at least that's the hope.
No delays ahead
Discussing how the matter will be treated in Britain, a spokesperson for the UK Department of Transport told TechRadar that a regulatory review is currently underway.
"We'd anticipate that early cars would have to have a driver in the seat ready to take over [with manual controls]." he said, adding that "nothing has been decided yet."
Google also confirmed that its cars are now being tested on its own test track, which simulates a busy street full of everything from traffic lights to "wobbling cyclists" - so that's what Eric Schmidt is doing these days.
"In the last stages of development, we will add all the finishes, like a final paint job and interior buttons, that complete a 'real' vehicle you'd want to ride in."