Thanks to the passing of Bill No. 511, Nevada is the first state to allow Google’s autonomous cars. The vehicles aren’t permitted to operate on Nevada state streets yet, however, as the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles first must draw up the exact rules governing the cars.
The legislature makes it legal for Google’s automated Prius and Audi TT fleet to cruise Nevada roads.
At the TED 2011 conference in Long Beach, Google gave some demos of its auto-driving car.
Apparently Google’s self-driving cars are more than just a concept – the company has tested a fleet of 6 fully autonomous Toyota Priuses and an Audi TT on California roads, and is now lobbying Nevada legislators to make self-driving cars legal on the state’s public roads.
Las Vegas-based lobbyist David Goldwater addressed the Nevada State Assembly earlier this week, saying that automated cars are safer, more efficient, and aid economic development. What do you think of this move toward automated transportation? The video of a test car in action, taken at a TED conference in Long Beach earlier this year, shows an automated Prius driving skillfully, but maybe not so fuel-efficiently, and definitely with no margin for error.
At this year’s TED conference, some Googlies purloined a parking lot in order to demonstrate just what fun it is to finally release your control freak tendencies into the hands of fine Google software.
A state bill with new rules for self-driving cars just passed, allowing Google’s fleet of hybrid vehicles to hit the road in Nevada soon. Google had been lobbying for the bill for weeks, saying they’re safer than human-driven cars.
As Stanford Professor Ryan Calo notes, this is a big step forward in ensuring that safe, driverless cars become a reality.
Specifically, the law provides that the Nevada Department of Transportation “shall adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles on highways within the State of Nevada.” The law charges the Nevada DOT with setting safety and performance standards and requires it to designate areas where driverless cars may be tested.
Read the full text of the law here.
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