May 8, 2012
Nevada Awards First Drivers License To Self-Driving Car
John Neumann for RedOrbit.com
Our cars, they grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday that your family car was crawling around on the floor playing with toys and now, it is getting its own drivers license.
On Monday, Nevada´s Department of Motor Vehicles approved Google to test self-driving vehicles on the roads of that state. The laws were approved in February, but the department has only now begun issuing licenses based on those regulations, so do not panic if you see a driverless car next to you on the highway.
Much like your typical teen with a fresh license, insurance for Google´s autonomous vehicles will not be inexpensive, no matter what a talking lizard might say about it.
Companies that want to trust such vehicles on public roads will need an insurance bond of $1 million and must provide detailed outlines of where they plan to test it and under what conditions.
The car must have two people in it at all times, just like beginner licenses in many states, and if a glitch is detected by the human driver, they can override the autonomous auto with a tap on the brake or a hand on the steering wheel, writes Beth Stebner for the Daily Mail Online.
These robot cars will be visible with corresponding license plates with a red background and infinity symbol. “I felt using the infinity symbol was the best way to represent the ℠car of the future,´” Nevada DMV Director Bruce Breslow said in a statement.
“The unique red plate will be easily recognized by the public and law enforcement and will be used only for licensed autonomous test vehicles. When there comes a time that vehicle manufacturers market autonomous vehicles to the public, that infinity symbol will appear on a green license plate.”
So far, only 6 vehicles have been given the green light to drive autonomously, six Toyota Priuses, an Audi TT sports car and a Lexus hybrid SUV.
The self-driving cars have been tested along freeways, state highways and neighborhoods both in Carson City and the busy Las Vegas Strip. The Autonomous Review Committee has met to review Google´s safety plans, employee training, system functions and accident reporting mechanisms, reports Mark Hachman for PC Mag.
Google has also extensively tested the self-driving car in California, most recently chauffeuring a blind man to Taco Bell in its autonomous vehicle, a Toyota Prius equipped with a laser turret manufactured by Velodyne.