Google driverless cars still require double drivers

May 8, 2012
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Google driverless cars still require double drivers

Google's driverless cars may have got the green light to roam the roads of Nevada under their own direction, but don't think you'll be able to summon your robot chauffeur to pick you up from afar. Although Nevada has allowed the autonomous Prius fleet to pilot themselves, they're only allowed to do so if two people are in the car at all times: one of whom must be behind the wheel to seize it in the case of an emergency.

That means that the Google cars not only can't be dispatched back to your parking space at home when they're done dropping you off at the office, but that you'll need to car-share on the journey if you don't want to fall foul of Nevada laws. The person in the driver's seat can override the robotic piloting by pressing the brake pedal or moving the steering wheel.

If the extra sensors studding the cars weren't enough to help fellow travelers spot the extra-intelligent vehicles, the special license plate the Nevada DMV has come up with might do the trick. They feature a red background an an infinity symbol on the left side, something DMV Director Bruce Breslow believes "was the best way to represent the 'car of the future'."

Google will soon have to share the roads with other autonomous car projects, however. Nevada is already believed to be processing applications from rival manufacturers looking to test their own versions of self-driving systems among real world traffic.


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