MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — When Google concluded several years ago that it could perfect cars driven by computers — not people — the Silicon Valley giant had to solve one big problem: Driverless cars were almost certainly illegal.

Fast forward to this week, when Google announced it wants to give Californians access to a small fleet of cars without a steering wheel or pedals.

The plan is possible because driverless cars will be legal in the tech giant's home state by this time next year.

And for that, Google can thank Google.

With an unorthodox lobbying campaign, Google did the unusual: It asked to be regulated.

The strategy worked. Both Nevada and California passed laws welcoming the car of the future onto their roads.