June 24, 2011 weblog
Google gets driverless car law passed in Nevada
(PhysOrg.com) -- The savvy among you may remember that back in May we told you about Google's attempts to get the Nevada state legislature to consider allowing users to driver UGV, or unmanned ground vehicles, that are more popularly know as self-driving cars on the states roads. At the time it seemed like an interesting notion and a bit of a pipe dream.
As it turns out dreams become real for the search giant quickly. The Nevada state legislature has just passed has just passed a bill, Assembly Bill No. 511, that does two things. First, the law allows the Nevada Department of Transportation to create rules and regulations regarding the use of self-driving cars, so that they can be used legally on the road. The second part of the law requires the Nevada state Department of Transportation to designate areas in which these vehicles can be tested.
The cars in question use a wide array of sensor, GPS technology and a little but of help from an artificial intelligence program to function. Google already has a fleet of these vehicles active in the state of California.
Google's next legislative goal in Nevada is to get its second law passed, one that would allow drivers to text message while they are sitting in the driver's seat of one of these self driving cars. While this idea was introduced at the same time that Assembly Bill No. 511 was, it has not made any significant progress at this point. Since these cars are not slated to be available to consumers for at least another seven years texting may not be an issue when the cars are released.
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