Self-Driving Cars: Coming To A Nevada Casino Near You

By Blake Z. Rong | February 17, 2012
Could your next ride back from the Bellagio be in a Johnny Cab? Now that Nevada is the first state to approve and legislate self-driving cars—a breakthrough in Google's goal of developing the autonomous car—it could very well happen. Google hopes its autonomous cars will be more noted for their technological achievements than their ability to ferry wasted bachelorette parties, but there is no denying the cultural quirks of the Silver State. The Legislative Commission of Nevada's Department of Motor Vehicles has allowed self-driving cars to roam on any road in the state, drafting a set of regulations that give driverless cars the legal ability to do so. The tech company had spent time and money lobbying Nevada for this law, and the state government passed a bill in June of last year requiring the DMV to draft up some rules—in short, strong-arming its lesser office to do something about it. "Nevada is the first state to embrace what is surely the future of automobiles," said Bruce Breslow, the director of the Nevada DMV. "These regulations establish requirements companies must meet to test their vehicles on Nevada's public roadways as well as requirements for residents to legally operate them in the future."
Drivers can pinpoint these cars with a distinctive red license plate, instead of the standard bluish-grey, mountain-bedecked plates that civilians get. Now, Google doesn't have to sneak around and secretly test its cars on public roadways, as it did when it announced in 2010—to the surprise of technology observers—that it had not only successfully developed an autonomous car, but it had already covered 160,000 miles in traffic. And again, when it had gotten in a fender-bender with another car a year later. Google co-founder Sergey Brin wants these driverless cars to cover one million miles before without an accident, and now that Nevada is helping him out, that goal now seems much more palatable. Google, take me to the Monte Carlo, and step on it! Source: