Driverless Car Gets Driver's License

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Google received the first license the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to test driverless cars. The Las Vegas Sun believes this is the first such license issued in the country. Does that mean that driverless cars will roam Nevada? Not exactly.

State regulations require a person behind the wheel and one in the passenger’s seat during tests, says the Las Vegas paper. Google’s test fleet has a distinctive bias towards imports: six Toyota Priuses, an Audi TT and a Lexus RX450h.

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  • Garak Garak on May 08, 2012

    I doubt I'll see true driverless cars in my lifetime, legislators will take care of that. The biggest problems are with liability issues - is the person in the driver's seat, the vehicle owner, or perhaps the company that built the car responsible for possible accidents? Most likely we'll end up with self-navigating cars, which require the driver to constantly hold the wheel and look forward - otherwise the car reverts to manual control.

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    • Aristurtle Aristurtle on May 08, 2012

      @Landcrusher They should worry more about the TSA sexually assaulting random passengers before worrying about robot cars.

  • Mcs Mcs on May 08, 2012

    The DARPA Challenge I'm currently working on involves designing a robot that can climb into an unmodified vehicle and drive it. So, pretty much any vehicle will have the ability to become a "human driverless" vehicle. In addition to driving, they want the robots to be able to get in and out to perform tasks using tools designed for humans. Not sure if we'll be able to pull this off, but we're going to give it a try.

    • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on May 08, 2012

      Robots hopping in and driving cars? Quite inefficient way to accomplish the autonomous driving task, that is, until you realize the military implications of this capability. Although i can imagine the battlefield benefits, this particular DARPA project would seem to have fewer civilian side benefits than previous ones did (and this is coming from a guy that participated in a few ARPA projects during his career.). Military robot carjackings anyone? By the way, I think autonomous cars will be great.

  • Pastor Glenn Pastor Glenn on May 09, 2012

    I'm torn, to be honest. I love driving, for the most part. Except for the fact that about 50% of the drivers on the road are absolute ..... oh wait, I can't say what they are, because of my profession. But you might get the idea when I tell you that the word I was so rudely going to use rhymes with the element "boron". To be honest, I used to have a collector car and enjoyed it a lot - except that it became terrifying when in my home state, apparently it became passe' for drivers to bother stopping at stop signs on side roads. Trust me when I tell you that driving a small 1960's convertible with 9" drum brakes, rear engine, and no safety equipment became very much un-fun. What is a collapsable steering column called in a Corvair? A sternum. Not forgetting the absolutely pandemic problem of tailgating, which is a menace. Maybe I'm talking myself into the idea of autonomous cars.... if it would make driving safer.

  • Icemilkcoffee Icemilkcoffee on May 09, 2012

    Well folks, this is the beginning of the end. Driving a car will be as quaint an activity as emptying a latrine in a 20 years. Cars with drivers will be as obsolete as carriages with horses. This is the end of the road for us car enthusiasts. Thank you for the ride. Your stop is here.

    • I6 I6 on Nov 21, 2012

      Equestrian enthusiasts still exist and have various ways of enjoying their passtime. The same will be true from driving enthusiasts in the upcoming era of driverless cars.