Are you ready to take your hands off the wheel and let the computers do the work for you? We are not quite there yet but getting closer. The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that Google has been licensed by the State of Nevada to test self-driving vehicles. The license will allow Google to test the budding technology on public roads.
The technology works by using mounted video cameras, lasers and radar sensors to control the car. It relies on mapping created by Google staff who have driven the routes filling in the location of lane markings and road signs.
The modified Prius received the license after passing a number of tests set up by the State. These included:
- Combined minimum driving time of 10,000 miles
- Submission of a complete description of the self-driving technology
- A detailed safety plan
- A plan for hiring and training test drivers
Nevada requires a $100 licensing fee plus $13 for each set of plates. The cars will have a special license plats that include the infinity symbol and the words “autonomous car.” However, Nevada requires that there must already be two people in the car at all times – one behind the wheel, and another monitoring a computer screen showing the planned route and what it “sees” in terms of hazards and traffic lights ahead.
“Autonomous vehicles are the car of the future, said Bruce Breslow, the director of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Other car companies are also seeking self-driven car licenses in Nevada, the DMV said. The State Agency is also planning to issue privately owned self-driving cars. Those cars will have a green license plate that will also include the infinity symbol. Motorists will also be required to obtain a special driver license endorsement before they can get behind the wheel of future robotic cars.