By on May 8, 2012

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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19 Comments on “Driverless Car Gets Driver’s License...”

  • avatar

    I hope driverless cars never happen. That’s all I need is a damned computer driver in front of me obeying the speed limit. In fact, I’d think it should be easy to cause one of these to crash. All you’d have to do is drive real close to one and cause it to avoid you while there is an obstacle ahead that it won’t have time or room to avoid. The police would have to have a way to disable these things which means there’d be some type of RF signal. If that happens, hackers could duplicate that signal and mess with these cars just for LULZ.

    • 0 avatar

      I on the other hand can’t wait for driverless cars. Considering 80% of the population would rather be texting, eating or websurfing while driving, the sooner we can take the driving part out of their hands the better.

      It will make my motorcycling infinitely safer. :-)

    • 0 avatar

      Speed limits can be much higher with computers at the wheel. Traffic will move faster and tighter, and there will be less congestion. No more drunks and distracted drivers to worry about. Driverless cars will be great.

      • 0 avatar

        Do you honestly believe that the government would put higher speed limits on their to-do list?

      • 0 avatar

        “Do you honestly believe that the government would put higher speed limits on their to-do list?”

        Must municipalities and other jurisdictions do whatever they can to keep speed limits low and speeding ticket revenues high. The Michigan legislature passed a law saying that all speed limits must be set based on current engineering studies. Since most jurisdictions know that the result of those studies will likely mean raised speed limits and less revenue from speeding tickets, they simply have not bothered to have the engineering studies done. Technically, most speed limits in Michigan are illegal and, yes, some folks have successfully fought tickets with this defense.

      • 0 avatar

        Type57sc: They will and they have. There was a time when 55mph was the law of the land. After that was rescinded in the 80’s, practically every state revised their speed limits to 65 or 70 (or ‘safe’ in Montana)

    • 0 avatar

      They’ve encountered aggressive drivers already without crashing. You aren’t anything special, meatbag.

  • avatar

    Hurrah! No more mindless, droning interstates to be driven. I’ll read a book or watch a movie.

    No more high blood pressure when commuting. Maybe I’ll switch to an electric razor and shave in the car. Certainly, I’ll be able to read the paper.

    The elderly will be able to get around independently, with confidence and without driving their children crazy with worry.

    This could be life-changing for the blind.

  • avatar

    Got your skis on, Fonzie? Your speed boat is waiting.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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