Google’s driverless cars approved for use in Nevada

May 7, 2012
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What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but when it's over it would sure be nice to have a designated driver built into your car. Thanks to Google's driverless car program, you might soon be able to have just that. After three months in safety testing and approval, not to mention considerable legal hurdles, Google's self-driving cars have been approved for driving anywhere in the great state of Nevada. Google's driverless car program has already logged 250,000 miles.

Most of those miles have been in Google's home state of California, where they have suffered zero serious accidents... with the exception of one five-car collision in which Google claims a human pilot was in manual control of the Prius. No serious injuries were caused. Google's patented GPS and camera-based driverless technology is some of the best in the world, often outpacing car manufacturers like Mercedes. Nevada actually legalized driverless car testing within its state lines before California, which currently has a bill with much the same effect.

The Nevada law requires testing of vehicles and systems for 10,000 miles on private roads and tracks before they can be put on the open road, a stipulation which Google has now passed. Two humans must be present in the test vehicle at all times, with the driver having the ability to override the computer-controlled steering column at any moment. There's still no word on when Google plans to roll out this technology in a more mainstream fashion, but anyone who's tried to get out of the parking lot at The Venetian at 1 AM is surely counting the days anyway.

[via RGJ]


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